RSS Feeds Explained

RSS can help you track twice as much news in half the time!

The vast amount of information on the Internet demands that we spend more and more of our time scanning websites in order to stay up to date and in the know. But there is a cool three-letter solution that will allow you to quickly and easily monitor your favorite websites for new/updated articles or information; it is called RSS or "really simple syndication".

What is RSS?

RSS is a way to receive up-to-date information from those websites that provide this technology, without actually having to visit the site! Every time the browser is opened, the RSS feed list you subscribed to is updated with a link to the new items.

3 examples of RSS feed icons

The universal feed icon

The icons shown to the left indicates content that can be subscribed to. You might see any one of the three (and there are actually more), but the bigger icon is the standard now.

How do I subscribe to an RSS feed?

The universal feed icon at the end of the address field in your browser represents content that can be subscribed to. Check out the screen print below. The easiest way to subscribe is to use a browser that recognizes RSS feeds like FireFox or Opera or Internet Explorer 7 (not 6).

Example of RSS feed icon in the address bar

If you have a browser-based RSS reader, simply click on the little orange RSS feed icon in the address bar to create what is called an “active bookmark” or "feed list." Every time a new entry or article is published to the Web, a link to the entry or article is added to your reader.

Here is a link to a good guide on browser-based RSS feed readers and other types of RSS readers. They also have detailed information on RSS feeds and how they work.