What is RSS (Real Simple Syndication)?

An RSS feed is “news” that is broadcast over the Internet to subscribers.  Most frequently the broadcast “news” is an update to a website, such as a new blog post, a new news story, or in the case of the library, a new title added to the library catalog. 

To view or read an RSS feed, you need to have a feed “aggregator” or “reader.”  Think of it in terms of needing a radio to interpret radio signals.  A RSS feed reader is needed to translate the RSS feed from computer language into viewable text.   

RSS feed readers can be web based, like a customizable My Yahoo page or an account on Bloglines  RSS feed readers can also be downloaded software, like RSS Bandit or FeedReader.  Newer web browsers, like Internet Explorer 7, can also act as RSS feed readers, allowing you to add the feed to your favorites list.

Once you have a feed “aggregator” or “reader,” it is necessary to subscribe to the RSS feeds that you wish to receive.  Every feed reader has a different way of adding subscriptions, so there is no single set of instructions.  Visit the help files of your feed “aggregator” or “reader.”

If your feed reader requires the URL of the RSS feed, then look for images like the following.  Right click on the image and select "Copy Shortcut" or "Copy Link Location."  Then paste the link address where directed in your feed reader. (The following are images only and do not link to any RSS feeds.)

feed image RSS - image xml - image rss-yahoo rss- msn

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Last Updated: 1/28/08