How To Read RSS Feeds
Brian Gongol

What Is RSS?

The number of websites on the Internet is so large and our time as individuals to read them so limited that it's difficult to track all of one's favorite websites. Some sites change frequently; others irregularly at best.

RSS, which means either "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary", depending upon whom you ask, is a means of summarizing the dynamic information on any given page and delivering it in a form that allows the user to collect that information on his or her own terms.

If you find an indication that a site is available in RSS (usually signified with a small orange logo, like RSS), then it supplies a feed which you can read with a wide range of tools.

Firefox Users

If you use Firefox, then several plug-in tools are available for reading RSS content. Try Sage. The Thunderbird mail program also contains built-in RSS reading tools.

Yahoo! and Hotmail Users

If you have a Yahoo! or Hotmail/MSN account, try adding the site with your My Yahoo! or My MSN account.

Everybody Else

Other Web-based services include Bloglines and Feedster. Several sites list and compare RSS services.

Once you start using one of these services, you'll learn what you like and what you don't. 90% of the difficulty is in getting started.

Creating an RSS Feed

Lots of sources are available that explain how to create an RSS feed, but the Search Engine Watch article "Making an RSS Feed" is a simple, clear, and quick tutorial.