Using RSS feeds

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What is a feed?
Feeds, also known as RSS feeds, XML feeds, syndicated content, or web feeds, contain frequently updated content published by a website. They are usually used for news and blog websites, but are also used for distributing other types of digital content, including pictures, audio, or video. Feeds can also be used to deliver audio content (usually in MP3 format) which you can listen to on your computer or MP3 player. This is referred to as podcasting.

How do I view a feed?
When you visit a webpage, the Feeds button Picture of the Feeds button will change color, letting you know that feeds are available. Click the Feeds button, and then click the feed you want to see. To get content automatically, you should subscribe to a feed. For more information on Web Slices, see Web Slices: frequently asked questions.

How do I subscribe to a feed?

1.      Open Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari or Chrome Feedburner or Google reader
2.      Go to the website that has the feed you want to subscribe to.
3.      Click the Feeds button Picture of the Feeds button to discover feeds on the webpage.
4.      Click a feed (if more than one is available). If only one feed is available, you will go directly to that page.
5.      Click Subscribe to this Feed.
6.      Type a name for the feed and select the folder to create the feed in.
7.      Click Subscribe.

How does a feed differ from a website?
A feed can have the same content as a webpage, but it’s often formatted differently. When you subscribe, the web broswer automatically checks the website and downloads new content so you can see what is new since you last visited the feed.

Does a feed subscription cost money?
No, it’s usually free to subscribe to a feed.

How can I view my subscribed feeds?
You view feeds on the Feeds tab in the Favorites Center. To view your feeds in Internet Explorer 8, click the Favorites button, and then click Feeds.

Can other programs display my subscribed feeds?

Top Picks

Web: Bloglines Simple two-pane interface, like email.

Mac OS X: NetNewsWire This elegant Mac-like aggregator is easy to use and powerful.

Windows: SharpReader Simple, but gets the job done.

Linux: Liferea A simple Gtk newsreader.

Runners-Up

AmphetaDesk A news aggregator you access through a web browser. (Mac/Win/Linux)

FeedDemon A more complicated aggregator for Windows. (Win)

FeedReader Like SharpReader, but sporadically updated. (Win)

NewsGator Read the news from within Microsoft Outlook. (Win)

NewsWatcher Based on Scopeware technology. (Win)

News Is Free Lets you create your own customized news page with feeds from the sites you’re interested in. (Web)

Novobot A smart headline viewer and news ticker that can also process almost any website. (Win)

Radio UserLand A full-stregth news-reading application, on your desktop. (Mac/Win)

rss2email Reads RSS feeds and sends each new item to you as an email. (Unix)

Straw The GNOME news aggregator.

dynamicobjects spaces Displays RSS feeds in an Outlook-like interface. (Mac/Win/Lin)

What does RSS mean?
The acronym RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is used to describe the technology used in creating feeds.

What formats do feeds come in?
The most common formats are RSS and Atom. Feed formats are constantly being updated with new versions. Most Browsers supports RSS 0.91, 1.0, and 2.0, and ATOM .3, 1.0 . All web feed formats are based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), a text-based computer language used to describe and distribute structured data and documents.

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