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Understanding Newsfeeds

RSS Newsfeeds

RSS logo.jpg

 What is RSS?

  • RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' or 'Rich Site Summary'
  • Used to publish frequently updated information such as blog entries, news headlines, audio and video
  • By subscribing to a website RSS removes the need to manually check the website for new content
  • The items of information gathered via RSS can be viewed in an RSS 'reader' or 'aggregator'

 What is an RSS reader?

RSS readers are used to subscribe to and view the content of RSS.

Desktop readers require you to download a piece of software onto your PC. In addition, some email software allows you to subscribe to and view the contents of RSS.  Great News displays full pages of news articles across RSS feeds, optimized for fast reading.   

Browser based readers

Many modern web browsers are now compatible with RSS. They work by automatically checking for newsfeeds as you browse the web. Where feeds are available, the orange RSS icon will appear. Click on the RSS icon to view the contents of the newsfeed and any subscription options. Browser based readers can also take the form of a free add-on or download. 

Chrome RSS Feed Reader  Really simple to set up and keep track of your latest RSS feeds in the toolbar.

Web based readers

Web based readers are simple to use and require no software downloads. They have the advantage of being accessible from any computer with an internet connection, and therefore provide a good option for those wishing to view their RSS subscriptions from multiple locations and PCs/mobile devices.

Feedly is available for Web/IOS and Android.  Feedly is designed to be a simple way to build your own newsfeed about your favourite topics.  Just search for a site’s name to follow it, or look up a topic to follow related stories.  Feedly integrates with most social media apps, so sharing interesting things you find is simple.

RSS to e-mail

Some users may prefer to receive information via email.  By using RSS to e-mail technology this can be done quite easily, all you need to do is create your template and set it to deliver daily, weekly or monthly.  A good example of free software is Mailchimp.

Where can I find out more? 

Further information is available on the BBC website.

Phil Bradley provides a good introduction in his "Potted Guide to RSS".