What is RSS?
With so much content being added to the web every day from blogs and news websites, it’s hard to keep up. RSS, which stands for “really simple syndication,” is the best and most efficient way to customize and organize this content to fit your needs.
Instead of constantly visiting your favourite websites to see if they’ve been updated, or clogging up your e-mail inbox with newsletters, RSS collects the latest web content in a program called a “feed reader,” where you can quickly and easily read it, save it for later, or ignore it. Many web browsers – such as Firefox or Chrome- have a feed reader built in.
Even more valuable is that RSS feeds allow you to syndicate content across the web, placing blog headlines or content at other locations, such as your Dalhousie website.
Using RSS feeds in a reader
If you’re looking to use RSS to follow content at blogs.dal.ca or elsewhere, here’s how to get started:
- Look on your favourite websites for either the orange RSS logo, a “subscribe” button (which often feature the most popular feed readers) or a text link to the page’s RSS feed. On blogs.dal.ca, you’ll find a small, orange button at the bottom of page that will lead you to the RSS feed for the blog. However, all categories and tags on each blog ALSO have an RSS feed that you can subscribe to, simply by adding “feed/” at the end of the URL for that page.
- One of two things will happen when you check out the RSS feed via any of the above methods: either you’ll be immediately prompted to add the blog to your feed reader, or you’ll see a page with text with a web address that usually ends in a .xml or .rss. If you find the latter, simply copy and paste the URL into your feed reader under “add new subscription” (or similar option).
- You’re now subscribed to that website’s content feed. When you log into your feed reader, any new posts or articles from that particular website will be waiting for you. Most readers allow you to sort your incoming RSS feeds into different categories, which is a great way to keep things organized.
Using RSS feeds on your website
RSS is also a great way to connect your blog with your Dalhousie website. Simply add the RSS Feed component to your dal.ca site. You can read more about the RSS Feed component on the web training blog.