What does it mean?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a very handy tool that enables you to receive automated updates on your favourite websites, discussions, blogs etc. Basically, it means that the information comes to you rather than the other way round. It is particularly useful when you want find out what is new on a site or follow a discussion.

How do I find a RSS feed?
Any site with rss feeds will show them by displaying the orange rss logo. They may also have links to rss feeds for specific agregators.

How do I subscribe to a RSS feed?
When you click on a rss feed link it takes you to a new page. The url (web address) to the page is the rss feed. You need to copy this address into an aggregator.

Which agregator should I start with?
If you want the most simple basic solution, have a go at rssfwd.com. All you do is visit the site and paste in the rss feed url and then your email address. Any subsequent updates to your chosen webpage will then appear in your email. You can very easily unsubscribe to the rss feed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the email.

What other aggregators have more functions?
Everyone has their own favourite aggregator. Some of the more popular ones are google reader, bloglines and netvibes. These become useful when you subscribe to a large number of feeds. Something else worth considering is personalising your browser so that it displays your feed updates as a widgit. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox are able to do this.

Any other ideas?
It would be great if some other users of rss could contribute some ideas as comments. Which aggregator do you use and what are your favourite feeds?

RSS in Plain English Video
If you want to watch a simple video that shows you how to use rss, click here

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There is a great video located at http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english for ones who need this explained in its simplest form.

I have dabbled with Google Reader (primarily because its widget that fits right on my igoogle desktop,) but I keep going back to Bloglines. With the ability to open multiple tabs in Firefox, it is one I keep open, and I can quickly glance at that tab (without opening it) to see that new posts are there to read. I suppose that is why I stick with Bloglines.
Great video Cathy, I've added it to the original discussion post. Have you seen the video that commoncraft did on wikis in the same style?
Re using firefox, I've added a google reader widgit to my firefox, so whenever I click on an rss feed it automatically asks if I want to add it to google reader. There are probably widgits for bloglines too.
Yes I've seen it too. Great stuff for professional development --I'm planning to use the blog one NEXT week!
Also ran across this today in the Sunlink Announcements Blog (Thanks to Donna Baumbach!) Look at all the tools to choose from in the RSS Toolbox!!



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