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What is RSS? - RSS Explained

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.

Why RSS? Benefits and Reasons for using RSS

RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure your privacy, by not needing to join each site's email newsletter. The number of sites offering RSS feeds is growing rapidly and includes big names like Yahoo News.

What do I need to do to read an RSS Feed? RSS Feed Readers and News Aggregators

Feed Reader or News Aggregator software allow you to grab the RSS feeds from various sites and display them for you to read and use.

A variety of RSS Readers are available for different platforms. Some popular feed readers include Amphetadesk (Windows, Linux, Mac), FeedReader (Windows), and NewsGator (Windows - integrates with Outlook). There are also a number of web-based feed readers available. My Yahoo, Bloglines, and Google Reader are popular web-based feed readers.

Once you have your Feed Reader, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the list of feeds your Feed Reader checks. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available.

Where is the RSS Feed Icon in Firefox 4?

If you have tried out the latest beta of the Firefox 4, you probably have noticed that the RSS web feeds subscription button which is present within the location bar of previous versions of Firefox is missing.

RSS Feeds
In Firefox 4:

RSS feeds

How to add the button to the tool bar?

By default the new RSS web feeds subscription button is not visible. To add this to the toolbar ( or navigation tool-bar as it is called in Firefox 4 ) just right-click on the toolbar and select customize. In the customize tool bar window that appears, click and drag the “Subscribe” icon to the desired location.

This will give the result in the last image - i.e. the RSS icon will be next to the address bar, and will need to be repeated for every site you visit.  To get back to Firefox 3 behaviour, install this extension. This will 'get you back to normal':

RSS feeds

WhatIsRSS.com now has a blog ...

We have always wanted to keep this resource brief and to the point, but we realise there is alot more that can be communicated about using RSS. Our RSS Blog was launched 26 July 2007 to extend and complement the information provided here. If you are interested in learning more about RSS go there now and subscribe! It will be updated over time with information on using RSS and will feature tools to help you use RSS in new and better ways.

RSS Links: More information on RSS

RSS Info Comprehensive Overview and Links
Syndic8 - Directory of RSS Feeds
What is RSS, and Why Should You Care?
XML.com: What is RSS?
Introduction to RSS - WebReference.com
RSS Blog Our very own weblog on RSS
Sites with RSS Feeds More RSS Examples. Sites with RSS feeds linking to WhatIsRSS.com

www.WhatIsRSS.com

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