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What is RSS?

So if you often see these little icons on websites,  [rss]  but you are not sure what they mean, this page attempts to demystify rss feeds, syndication and podcasts.

RSS stands for ready simple syndication, and is basically a file which is marked up with xml. You click on the link to this file, and subscribe to it. The rss feed it updated by the owner/creator, and you will receive all new items added to the feed. In order to read rss feeds however you need to subscribe using either your browser, or a third party piece of software. We recommend feedly for this. There was a really nice article in Oprah's website of all places explaining rss feeds in a really simple way, and you can read it here: "How to explain rss feeds the Oprah way" They explain that rss feeds are a "way online for you to get a quick list of the latest story headlines from all your favorite websites and blogs all in one place".

What is an aggregator?

An rss feed aggregator is a piece of software or a webpage that displays rss feeds from different sources. Google Reader is an rss aggregator. It is also called an rss reader.

What is syndication?

Syndication is just another term for saying that information from a website can be embedded into another in the form of a web feed (rss feed)

How to use RSS Feeds

click on the rss image or link in your browser. If you are using internet explorer the feed will automatically display in the browser and ask you if you want to subscribe to it. Sometimes however you will get an error or the feed will display as a page of weird code. If this happens we recommend that you sign up to use feedly.
Alternatively, you can copy the url of the feed into whatever your preferred rss reader software is. See below for a list of these.

By Feed-icon.svg: unnamed (Mozilla Foundation)Derivative works of this file: User:Jahoe [GPL, LGPL, MPL 1.1, MPL 1.1, GPL or LGPL], via Wikimedia Commons