RSS, an acronym for “Rich Site Summary” (or alternatively “Really Simple Syndication”), is a way for Web sites to freely distribute news and other regularly updated content to users using a simple XML data format. An RSS “feed” is a small data file that presents a list of a Web site’s most current stories, brief descriptions of those stories, and links to the full articles in a compact, easy to read format.
RSS allows users to access and monitor the flow of information on many of their favorite Web sites all at the same time.
Getting Started Using RSS If you have a myYahoo account or an iGoogle account, just click on the following buttons to load the feed directly into your browser.
Another way to use RSS is to download and install a news reader on your computer. Many readers are available for free and can be easily downloaded over the Web. Following is a list of some of our favorite free readers:
RSSOwl is a cross-platform reader that is powerful, easy to configure, and available in many several different languages. (Mac/Win/Linux)
FeedReader, a lightweight, “bare-bones” program, looks and operates like a basic e-mail reader client.
NetNewsWire (Mac OS X)
The lite version of this aggregator for the Mac is easy to use, powerful, and free.
Bloglines is a free Web-based service through which you can set up your own personal feed reader account. It’s an easy way to start using RSS feeds, and doesn’t require that you install any software on your machine.
Once you have your news reader up and running, subscribing to RSS feeds is as easy as entering the URL of the feed file. If you know the URL of the feed you want to follow, copy and paste the URL into the application you’re using. And voila, fresh information from your favorite Web sites is now at your fingertips
Several Web sites are in the business of linking RSS users up with the huge array of feeds available online. A search of the terms “RSS feeds” in Google will yield many such sites, but here are two sites where hungry RSS users can find more feeds:
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- you do not post Thirteen/WNET video or audio files or full-text stories other than as included in the RSS feed;
- the links redirect the user to Thirteen/WNET Web sites when the user clicks on them;