RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format for distributing news content and is a simple way to keep up to date with the latest news on a website without having to visit the site.
Websites publish via RSS and then individuals or other websites automatically get the updated content via a ‘news aggregator’ or ‘news reader’. Typically, an item in an RSS feed will only contain a title, excerpt or description, and link back to the original, more detailed content.
If you want to receive RSS you will need a news reader. Some you can access using a browser, and some are applications that need to be downloaded onto your computer. There is a range of different news readers available and new versions are appearing all the time.
Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to take this into account when you make your choice.
Popular news readers include:
- Bloglines, an online RSS reader,
- Google Reader, another online RSS reader,
- FeedReader for Windows
- Sharpreader for Windows,
- NetNewsWire Lite for Macs.
Some browsers, including Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, Opera and Safari, have functionality built into the browser which automatically picks up RSS feeds for you without needing a separate news reader. For more details on these or RSS in general, please check their websites.