RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
Benefits of using RSS
It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure your privacy, by not needing to join each site's email newsletter. The number of sites offering RSS feeds is growing rapidly and includes big names like CNN.
How to set up your own personal RSS feed
- Get started with an RSS feed by downloading an RSS reader (also called an aggregator). Several free and commercial readers, extensions and apps are available online. Download one of these to your computer or mobile device.
- Go to your favourite websites and look for the RSS link. If you don't see it, type the name of the website plus "RSS" in a search engine.
- Copy the URL to the RSS feed for the site.
- Paste the RSS URL into the RSS reader/aggregator you downloaded.
- Repeat with all the websites you visit frequently.
Some things that an RSS feed can be useful for
- News - Get the freshest news on your favourite celebrity, the country you are about to visit or your favourite sports team.
- Politics - If you are helping a political candidate get elected, then RSS is an invaluable tool for watching popular opinion and blog postings.
- Currency exchange rates - If you are planning a trip to another country, you can watch for the best time to buy that country's currency.
- Photos - RSS feeds are an excellent way to get the latest from photographers on the web.
- Hobbies - If you are a motorcyclist, a skier, a pottery enthusiast, or perhaps a dog trainer, hundreds of conversations and bits of hobby advice can be fed directly to your screen.