How To Use RSS
What is RSS?
RSS is like e-mail that comes to you from a web site. With e-mail, you use a program such as Outlook, Yahoo, or Gmail. When your e-mail program is open, you see various messages in your inbox from people who know your e-mail address.
With RSS, you use a “reader” to subscribe to web sites that interest you. Whenever new content is posted to a site you are subscribed to, you will receive a message in your RSS Reader with either a summary of the article or the full article, as well as a link to the article on that web site.
Why use RSS?
The main reason for using RSS is that it allows you to stay up to date on many web sites without taking the time to visit each one every day (or more often). For example, if you are interested in 20 web sites, and they all go three days without posting anything new, it would be a waste of time to visit each site during those three days. With RSS, the sites notify you (via your RSS Reader) when new content is available.
To better understand how this works, watch this video that explains RSS in Plain English.
Choosing an RSS Reader
Getting started with RSS can be confusing because there are multiple options for which RSS Reader to use. The key is to find one that is comfortable for you and fits into your daily web workflow. Below are some of the options you can choose from:
Email programs with integrated RSS reader:
Subscribe to a feed
Once you have chosen an RSS Reader, it’s time to subscribe. All you have to do is look for the RSS icons, such as the ones shown to the right, from your favorite sites. These icons represent the links you need to put in your RSS Reader in order to subscribe to a particular site.
Depending on which reader you have chosen to use and which browser you are using, the steps will be different, but just follow the directions for your particular setup.
Check for updates
After subscribing to some feeds, updates will automatically be delivered to your RSS Reader when new stories are published. Remember that like an e-mail program, you must open your RSS Reader to see these updates come through.
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