RSS icon

Really Simple Syndication

(First published by Neil on 28/02/2017)

What is that funny little button you see at the bottom of web pages?  Well, it’s the link for the page’s RSS feed, and you really should be using it. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it really is simple, despite various efforts over the years to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Let’s have a look at how it’s used.

Let’s say you want to keep up to date with the blog on the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust website, at http://www.bbowt.org.uk/blog. If you open that page, you’ll see the tiny little RSS button right down in the bottom right-hand-corner with all the social media buttons. Now, right-click on that, and select the menu item that says something like “Copy link address” (that’s in Chrome; it will be different in different browsers).

Next you need an RSS feed reader. These are all over the app stores for your tablet or smartphone (Feedly is very popular), or you can just use the one that’s built into Outlook. In Outlook, you just right-click on “RSS Feeds” in the left-hand column, and select “Add a new RSS feed…” Just paste the link into the box and click “Add”. You’re done. Now you don’t have to browse through all those different blogs and news sites every day using your web browser: you can quickly see if there’s new content using your feed reader.

Here’s what mine looks like:

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