Rss help

RSS feeds (or news feeds) allow you to view the latest headlines (and a bit of a description about the news item) without actually having to go to the website. If you're interested in the news item, you can then click on the news headline to be taken to the particular website where you can read the full article.

What's the advantage of RSS feeds?

News comes to you! Instead of visiting say, twenty different websites to see if there's anything new on them, your 'feed reader' will check periodically for you. You can then just check your feed reader to see what's new.

How do you get an RSS feed?

There are a number of different ways that you can 'view RSS feeds'. Each of them involves a piece of software (a feed reader) that checks the relevant website for feed updates. This software can be integrated into your browser or email client, can be a standalone application or can be web-based.

  1. Web-based feed readers enable you to access your feeds from any computer. Popular examples include:
  2. Standalone readers let you store feeds on your computer, but you may not be able to check them from any other computer. (Although there are some standalone readers which enable you to synchronise your feeds on your pc/Mac and on mobile devices.) Example standalone readers include:
  3. Readers which integrate with your browser/email client include:
    • Internet Explorer [Version 7 and above], Firefox [Version 2 and above] and Safari [for OS X Leopard 10.5.6 and OS X Tiger 10.4.11] all have built-in RSS support
    • Sage - an extension for Firefox
    • Thunderbird - for Windows, Mac and Linux

The example readers listed above are a small selection of those freely available. There are many others available at a small cost, but it's probably best to try one of the free versions above first. Once you've decided how you'd like to view RSS feeds, the next thing is to subscribe to feeds.

Subscribing to feeds

You can 'subscribe' to feeds in a number of different ways, but perhaps the simplest is to copy and paste the URL (web address) of the feed into the news reader.

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