The ABCs of RSS

Maybe you’ve seen a lot on RSS, but don’t know what it is, or how it can benefit you by saving you time and money! And roast a chicken for you in under thirty minutes! (Alright, it may in fact only save you time, and you might have to ask Ron Popeil about chicken roasting).

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is basically a coding format that allows blogs (like this one), news sites, and lots of other frequently updated information on sites to be sent to a “reader” or “aggregator” so that you can read the information you want on the Internet without going to lots of different addresses–it’s all in one place.

[It’s often referred to as just a feed or as syndicated.]

Why would you want to use RSS? If you’re like many people now, you spend a good chunk of your time on the Internet, either researching or reading for entertainment, catching up with friends on their blogs like MySpace, or maybe even watching videos on sites like YouTube. Almost all of your information and a lot of your communications come via Web. So why not consolidate some of the time you’re spending, remembering addresses, clicking your favorites, and instead just go to one place where all your favorites can be seen?

When you use an RSS reader, you don’t need to visit a site for updates, because your RSS reader will tell you when the site has been updated. Best of all, many RSS readers are now free.

If you have any trouble setting up a reader or adding sites, ask a librarian at the reference desk (refhelp {at} highline {dot} edu) or extension 3232 (or just ask us in person at the desk). We’d be more than happy to help.

Here are some RSS readers you can set up for free with only an email account and password:


Google Reader



(and if you want more options)

And here are some sites you might want to add once your RSS reader is set up:

(The URL to add to your reader is the one that you get when you click or hover over the hyperlinked text below. For instance, add for this blog).

Highline Community College Library Blog

Instructional Computing Alerts

Simply Recipes

YouTube Recently Featured Videos

CNN Top Stories

NPR’s Morning Edition (and lots more feeds)

Happy RSS Reading!


1 Comment

Filed under General Info

One response to “The ABCs of RSS

  1. Pingback: New Materials RSS Feed « Highline Community College Library

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