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RSS Feeds and How To Use Them

What is RSS?
rss25RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a feed which one subscribes to. RSS feeds are frequently updated and distributed in the XML format. RSS fees are usually indicated by orange icons on websites. These icons link to that website’s feed. RSS feeds often include the title of the article and a small excerpt or even the whole article. Viewing a feed is referred to as aggregation which displays latest entries.

Using RSS can save time on a daily basis. Suppose 5 tech news websites are accessed every day. In a browser, the sites are visited one at a time and usually require additional browsing to find the most recent articles and changes. With RSS and a RSS feed reader, or RSS aggregator, new articles and changes to articles are indicated almost in real time.

FireFox and Safari
Apple’s Safari browser or Mozilla’s Firefox can automatically determine if a website has an accessible feed. In Safari a blue RSS icon appears to the right of the URL in the address bar and in Firefox an orange icon appears in the same location.

Clicking on the RSS icon in Safari will load a simple feed reader, where a Bookmark can be added on the right pane. The feed will now be viewable in the Safari bookmarks manager under All RSS Feeds.

In Firefox clicking the orange icon ask to save the feed. Firefox deals with feeds as live bookmarks. Going to the place where the “bookmark” was saved will show a folder with an expand arrow. Clicking on the arrow will show the latest entries on that particular website, with the most recent on the top.

Chrome
Chrome requires a free extension in order to use RSS feeds. Additional information is available from the RSS Feed Extension page.

Internet Explorer
When you first view a website, Internet Explorer will search for feeds. If feeds are available, the Feeds button will be displayed. Click the Feeds button, and then tap or click the feed you want to see. To get content automatically, you should subscribe to a feed:

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Go to the website that has the feed you want to subscribe to.
  • Tap or click the Feeds button to discover feeds on the page.
  • Tap or click a feed (if more than one is available). If only one feed is available, you will go directly to that page.
  • Tap or click Subscribe to this feed.
  • Type a name for the feed and select the folder to create the feed in.
  • Tap or click Subscribe.
  • You view feeds on the Feeds tab in the Favorites Center. To view your feeds, tap or click the Favorites button, and then tap or click Feeds.

    Outlook
    To manually enter an RSS Feed subscription, you are required to enter the Web address.

  • Click the File tab.
  • Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
  • On the RSS Feeds tab, click New.
  • In the New RSS Feed dialog box, type the URL of the RSS Feed. For example, http://www.example.com/feed/main.xml. In most Web browsers, on a Web page, you can right-click the Button image RSS icon, and then copy the shortcut to the Clipboard. Press CTRL+V to paste the information from the Clipboard into the RSS Feed location box.
  • Click Add.
  • Click OK.
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