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What is RSS?

by Gibbs,Neil W last modified Oct 14, 2009 10:09 PM

Overview of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and how to use it.

What is RSS?

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a method of publishing headlines, links, and article summaries that appear on Web sites. By using a special news reader, you can subscribe to news "feeds" of particular interest and be notified when new content becomes available on a Web site.

How is RSS different from regular Web browsing?

RSS allows you to focus on topics and articles that are most interesting to you. You can read article introductions or summaries before clicking through to a Web page, which allows you to make the most of your browsing time.

RSS readers can also alert you when content has been added to the Web sites you have subscribed to, much like how e-mail readers notify you when a new message arrives.

To use RSS, you'll need an RSS reader, which combines a web browser with a tool that summarizes the content of subscribed news feeds.

There are many RSS readers available. Some are installed as applications on your computer, while others can be used through a web browser.

For example, Google Reader is a free, easy-to-use online RSS reader that works in all the major browsers. An extensive list of popular news readers for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix computers is available from Wikipedia.

What are the other uses for RSS?

If you maintain a Web page, you can set your page up so that it is automatically updated by an RSS feed originating on another computer. You can use RSS to share content automatically between several computer systems and Web sites. For example, U of L Web authors can use our news RSS feeds to add U of L news to their department Web sites.

How do I subscribe to U of L RSS feeds?

The exact procedure will vary depending upon the RSS reader you're using. In general, you'll follow one of the links listed on the RSS feeds page, which will bring you to a summary of recent U of L news content.

Once you're looking at a feed of interest, you can copy the URL, paste it into your RSS reader, and hit "Subscribe."

Where can I learn more about RSS?

For more information about RSS, please see a general overview of RSS (Wikipedia) and a list of popular news reader programs (Wikipedia).

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What is RSS? Learn more about Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and how to use it.


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