Marks Harvey Logo RSS Help
Eye Bar
What is RSS?

The Internet is a vast source of information. You can view web sites with a browser. You can subscribe to email newsletters. Using your web browser to view many sites takes time to load each site and then you often have to sift through the page to find the new data you are seeking. Email is a convenient method to obtain the information you desire, but it comes along with a whole lot of spam email that you don't want. A new means of getting your information without the drawbacks of visiting a multitude of web sites or wading through tons of email is welcome. The basis for this new model is an XML-based format known as Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication.

The orange or blue icon (labeled XML, RSS or Atom) you're beginning to see everywhere on the net is the link to RSS. Instead of newsletters, you can subscribe to newsfeeds for many web sites, giving you an easy way to remain anonymous, not receive spam or give out any personal information. If you're dissatisfied, just delete the feed from your news aggregator or reader (program you use to view your news feed).

RSS readers display only headlines very quickly and you can elect to view the full text and/or image of only those articles/news of interest and makes it easier to keep track of massive amounts of incoming information. The RSS feeds available range from news, newsletters, daily comic strips, jobs to blogs. Blogs (a contraction of "web log") are journals or diaries of people wanting to share their thoughts or information with others.

In many cases, a blog is a monologue to an audience of passive prospects. But one of the key attributes of a blog is that it allows readers to provide public feedback that is posted below the author's spiel. You can be involved if you wish. Yoy have the opportunity to respond almost instantly to any and all posts.

How Do I View RSS Feeds?

Microsoft Internet Explorer does not have built-in capability of displaying RSS feeds.

Click on any of those orange or blue RSS, XML, or Atom buttons and you see unreadable text. Some of it is readable, but reading between the tags is slow and difficult. In this case, you've got the raw ingredients of the content known as a feed.

There are other web browsers, such as Firefox and Opera, that do include the capability of displaying RSS feeds. Firefox can display the headlines of RSS feeds in the Bookmarks by clicking on the orange icon Firefox RSS Icon that appears in the address box of some web pages. You can also add Foxfire extensions, such as Sage, that offer more flexible RSS support.

To make RSS easily readable, you download a feed reader that can interpret (aggregate) the ingredients or sign up for an online service that can do the same.

There are several free RSS readers available for download:

This is not an exhaustive list and all of these readers have similar features.

After downloading and installing a RSS reader or if you are using a browser that supports RSS feeds you are ready to start getting your feeds. You can click on one of these RSS buttons RSS for Richie Rich's Vault or RSS for Fun Ideas Blog or RSS for Beatles Blog.

You can add or delete sites from your reader. Any site that has an orange XML or RSS button on it produces headlines. Just right click on the button and copy the address code to your reader. You can search for RSS feeds at Syndic8 and Faganfinder. Popular sites are listed at Hotlist.

Contact me at to let us know your comments on Richie Rich's Vault, Fun Ideas Blog or Beatles Blog.

close window