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What is RSS?

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary".  It is a method of feeding frequently updated web content  such as blogs, highlights, and news.  By feeding we mean that it is information that is sent from our website directly to you automatically.

Many websites on the Internet offer RSS feeds for their content. For example, go to any news organization online and you will see an icon that might look something like one of these that our polar friend in the picture below is thinking about. You may find a RSS icon on the page itself or in the address bar. 

When you click on the icon, it will direct you to an xml file. Depending on the browser you are using it may display as plain text or formatted text possibly with images. Or it may ask you what reader you would like to use.

To take full advantage of the RSS feed technology, you need to sign up for a RSS feed reader or aggregator. If you have a gmail account, you can simply click on the 'Reader' link at the top of your email and it will take you to the google feed reader.  In Google Reader, you just have to click on 'Add a subscription' and it will give you a box to either search for a feed to subscribe to or to enter in a web address to subscribe to.  If you are already logged into your Google account, you can simply click on the RSS icon on the page you are interested in and Google will ask if you want to subscribe via Google Reader. rss

There are a large number of RSS feed readers available: web-based, browser-specific plugins, downloadable free software, mobile plugins and software. 

Once you have figured out which reader works best for you and have subscribed to feeds that interest you, the new content will automatically show up in your feed reader whenever there is new content.  In this way, you no longer need to go to each of your favorite news or blog to get the latest information - the content comes right to you!

For more information about RSS feeds check out the following:






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