About RSS Feeds
RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a format for publishing frequently updated content on a website, such as news posts or journal entries. An RSS document is called a "feed" and contains a summary of the content and links to the website. Feeds sometimes contain audio content and are called "podcasts."
Why use it?
By subscribing to an RSS feed, a reader can keep up with updates to the website in an automated way, without going to the website to manually check for new content.
How do I subscribe to a feed?
Most newer web browsers include a built-in feed reader and subscription mechanism. The following are known to include feed readers:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 and up
- Safari 2.0 and up
In supported browsers, typically you can subscribe to a feed by clicking on the icon in the web page or in your browser's address bar. You will be given the option to subscribe to the feed, after which it will appear in your browser's bookmark list.
Other software (called a "feed reader" or "feed aggregator") is available if your browser does not support RSS feeds. See a list of feed readers.
Using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and older does not have built-in support for RSS feeds. You will need to find and install an external feed reader, or upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, in order to use RSS feeds.
If you click on a feed icon or link in IE6 and see "code" then you are viewing the raw contents of the RSS file. You will need to install feed reader software before attempting to view and subscribe to feeds. Use the list of feed readers.
How do I get the latest content?
The software you use to subscribe will automatically update its content on a regular basis. Some will let you customize the update interval.
How do I view my subscribed feeds?
If you are using a web browser to subscribe, your feeds will typically be presented as a "bookmark." Here's how to do it for commonly-used browsers:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
- Click on the Favorites Center button. (It looks like a star.)
- Click on Feeds
- Click on the "Bookmarks" menu or open the Bookmarks sidebar.
- Find your feed by name - look for the icon.
What about Podcasts?
A podcast is an RSS feed that contains audio content. You are welcome to subscribe to these using your browser, but to get the full benefit of the podcast, you will use your computer's multimedia software. This will usually automatically download the audio for you, and you can listen to it on your computer or portable device.