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What is RSS and how can it help me?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is an increasingly popular online tool designed to help readers stay abreast of updates from their favorite sites. Based on a programming language (XML, or eXtensible Markup Language) already used to create many Web sites, RSS enables web developers to post short site summaries describing recently added or updated items and links.

Postings are then scanned automatically by programs called RSS readers (like those below) to deliver specialized news-wire-style "feeds" to interested readers. These feeds are like personally-tailored executive summaries.

To get started, you must first choose a reader. A variety of RSS feed readers are available, many are free. Some are Web-based services, which allow you to view your RSS feeds from any Web browser. Others are standalone applications that you can download and install on your computer.

Below are some popular feed readers to choose from. (Osprey Associates, LLC does not endorse any reader software or service.)

Popular Web-Based Feed Readers:

Popular Desktop Feed Readers:


» For more information about RSS (Wikipedia)