What is RSS?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. It is a great way to easily collect
and distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a
wide range of topics.
What problem does RSS solve?
Most people are interested in many websites whose content changes frequently or on
an unpredictable schedule. Examples of such websites are news sites, community
and religious organization information pages, product information pages,
medical websites, and weblogs. Repeatedly checking each website to see if there
is any new content can be very tedious.
Email notification of changes was an early solution to this problem.
Unfortunately, when you receive email notifications from multiple websites they
are usually disorganized and can get overwhelming, and are often mistaken for
RSS is a better way to be notified of new and changed content. Notifications of
changes to multiple websites are handled easily, and the results are presented
to you well organized and distinct from email.
How does RSS work?
RSS works by having the website author maintain a list of notifications on their
website in a standard way. Not every webpage may have an RSS feed. This list of
notifications is called an “RSS Feed”. You can tell if a page provides a RSS feed by the following RSS Icon on the page (or sometimes the page may say RSS FEED.
People who are interested in finding out the latest headlines or changes can subscribe to the feed or list. Virtually all RSS feeds are FREE. In order to subscribe to RSS feed you must first select a RSS Aggregator or RSS Reader. These specialized computer programs have been developed to automatically access the RSS feeds of websites you have subscribed to and organize the results on the RSS reader page. (RSS feeds and aggregators are also sometimes called “RSS Channels” and “RSS Readers”.)
Producing an RSS feed is very simple and hundreds of thousands of websites now provide this feature, including major news organizations like the New York Times, the BBC, and Reuters, as well as many weblogs.
How to get Started?
Start by first selecting an RSS reader. In this example I am using Google’s, http://www.Google.com ,RSS reader (IE7 or later). There are
many other readers to choose from and most are free.
Go to GOOGLE and click on the “Star” icon in upper right corner outlined in the
2: The “Star” icon is where you will find your list of Website Favorites. Click on the “Feeds” tab outlined in the red box. It is probably blank if you have not used RSS feeds before. If there are RSS feeds present you can keep them or delete them by Right Clicking and Deleting them. Now you know where to find the RSS feeds you subscribe to.
3: Go to one of your favorite web pages where you would like to subscribe to a RSS feed. In many cases you may have to hunt around the webpage to find the RSS icon or reference
to a RSS feed, if one exists. In the example the RSS icon is at the bottom of the page outlined in the red box.
4: Click on the RSS icon, it will take you to that pages RSS subscription links. Some pages may have just one RSS link for the whole web site. Others, like in this example have multiple RSS feeds to help people target just the topics of interest. In
this example click on the “Audio” link outlined in the red box.
5: After clicking on the link for the Audio RSS subscription feed a new window will appear. This is the actual RSS Feed page and subscription link.
First click on the “Subscribe to this feed” in the upper left side outlined in the red box. Then the “Subscribe to this feed” window will pop up, click “Subscribe”. You have just subscribed to this RSS Feed. However, where can I go to see the RSS feed and updates? Good question, back to Google’s RSS Reader.
6: Go back to Google, click on the Star, then the Feed tab. There is the RSS feed link you have just subscribed to outlined in the red box. If you now click on the link, it will take you to the feed for that link and all the postings. However, if you collect 10 or 20 or 50 RSS links managing them in this window can be confusing. Good news is you can create
7: To organize your RSS feeds, simple right click and then
select “Create new folder” outlined in the red box.
8: Since my example was Texas Instruments (TI) and I want to follow semiconductor companies. I may wish to create a folder called “Semiconductor”. You can have as many RSS feeds as you want and as many folders as you need. Folders are just a great way to organize RSS feeds by topic.
9: Now you can “drag and drop” your feed in to the new folder. You can have as many RSS feeds as you want and as many folders as you need. Folders are just a great way to organize RSS feeds by topic.
RSS feeds are a great way to stay current on any topic of interest. You now have a tool that gets you the most recent information with the click of the mouse without having to read the entire webpage.
“Stay current my friends”