What is RSS?
RSS is an acronym for "Really Simple Syndication". It is an XML-compliant format that facilitates the dissemination of frequently updated web content, for instance, web pages for news organizations or those produced by bloggers. An RSS "feed" or "channel" is a summary of newly updated web content, and pages with RSS subscriptions appear with the standard RSS icon shown here: .
The benefit of RSS is that it obviates the need for internet users to constantly navigate to web sites they are interested in to check for new content. Instead, users can go to a single place, their RSS reader, to check for updated content from scores of websites.
For a more detailed text explanation, click here. To view a video explaining RSS in plain English, click here.
What is an RSS Reader?
An RSS "reader", or "aggregator", is a software program that collects updated content from websites of interest and displays them in a single screen. Common readers are the Google Reader, Bloglines, and Feed Demon, although there are a number of other free and commercial RSS readers available.
How do I subscribe to an RSS feed?
Once you have installed your RSS reader, you are ready to subscribe to RSS feeds. Simply click on the RSS icon displayed on the web page for which you would like to receive updates, and cut and paste the URL for that page into your reader. Your reader will check regularly for new content made available on your favorite web pages so that you don't have to. Rather than navigating a maze of bookmarks or stumbling through your web history to locate websites of interest, you can now get all the updates for your myriad interests in one location.
How do I unsubscribe from an RSS feed?
If you should choose to terminate subscriptions to an RSS feed, this is typically handled from within your reader application. Check the tools or options menu if an unsubscribe button is not readily apparent.
Last updated: August 22, 2007.