There is so much information available on the web, that it seems simply impossible to keep up. Well, imagine this:
What if, instead of you going out and surfing the web, new content on your favorite websites came to you, just like an email?
It can, through a technology called RSS.
The Duggan Library has begun offering RSS feeds to users who wish to be alerted of new content at the Library, and many of your favorite news sites and blogs offer RSS as well.
What is RSS?
RSS (which stands for "Rich Site Syndication" or "Really Simple Syndication") is a technology developed for active sharing of content on the web. An RSS feed pushed content from a website to you, via a software program called an RSS Reader.
RSS reader software may be web-based, or stand-alone. A web search for "RSS readers" will give you many, many software options to choose from. Most are free, and which you select is a matter of personal preference. Two which you may consider are:
Google Reader: do you have a gmail account? If you do, you already have access to Google Reader. Simply log in to your account, go to http://www.google.com/Reader, and input whatever subscriptions you would like.
SharpReader: SharpReader (available at http://www.sharpreader.net/) is a stand-alone RSS aggregator that looks and functions very similarly to the Microsoft Outlook interface.
Once you have your reader set up, then it is time to add subscriptions to your reader.
An increasing number of websites offer RSS feeds. Most news sources and blogs have feed capability. In order to subscribe to an RSS feed, simply look for the RSS link or icon on your chosen website. It may be linked under "RSS Information" or "Syndication Information"." Below is an example of the standard RSS icon:
Once you have located the link, you will simply cut and paste the URL for the feed into your reader's subscription file. The URL for an RSS feed looks very much like a typical website URL, except the extension will end in ".xml" and the feed itself will look like web code. Your reader will handle translating the feed into a user-friendly format.