What Is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's an easy way for you to keep up with news and information that's important to you, and helps you avoid the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on websites. Now the content you want can be delivered directly to you without cluttering your inbox with e-mail messages. This content is called a "feed."
RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which is why you see RSS buttons commonly labeled with this icon: .
You may also see RSS buttons labeled with this icon: .
What Is an RSS Reader?
An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location.
Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?
Some browsers, such as the current versions of Firefox and Safari have built in RSS readers. If you're using a browser that doesn't currently support RSS, there are a variety of RSS readers available on the web; some are free to download and others are available for purchase.
How Do I Use RSS Feeds?
The first step is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a "channel." Follow the directions for your reader but, in most cases, here's how it works:
- Click on the link or small RSS button near the feed you want. For example, Seventh Circuit RSS Feeds. You'll see a page displaying XML code.
- From your web browser's address bar, copy that URL (web address). For example,
the URL you would copy for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Opinions RSS is: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=rss_ops
or for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Oral Arguments RSS: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=rss_args
- Paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.