About RSS

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is an XML-based document format that provides an easy way to keep up with news and information that’s important to you. It provides headlines, URLs (links) to the source document and a brief description of the information in an easy to understand and use format. RSS-based news readers and news aggregators let you display RSS headlines on desktop and laptop computers, as well as mobile devices enabled to view RSS “feeds.” Some Web browsers, such as Firefox, can have RSS readers added to them. You can search the Internet for news readers and aggregators.

What is an RSS reader?

An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location.

Where can I get an RSS reader?

Some browsers — such as the current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari — have built-in RSS readers. If you’re using a browser that doesn’t support RSS, there are a variety of RSS readers available on the Web. Some are free to download and others can be purchased. You can find more information about RSS on the USA.gov What Is RSS? Offsite link warning Web page.

How do I use an RSS feed?

The first step is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a “channel.” Follow the directions for your reader but, in most cases, here’s how it works:

  • Click on the link or more likely, the small XML or RSS button near the feed you want. You will see a page displaying XML code, or in a newer browser, a page displaying the available programs.
  • From your web browser’s address bar, copy the URL (web address).
  • Paste that URL into the “Add New Channel” or “Add New Feed” section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.