Ian Collins is Leading Britain's Conversation.
What is RSS?
RSS feeds are a special kind of web page, designed to be read by computers rather than people. RSS allows you to receive content from many websites, with updates delivered to you automatically. You can get the latest headlines, blog entries, podcasts, photos and videos, in one place, as soon as they are published, without having to remember to visit each site every day.
How do I start using RSS feeds?
The first thing you need is a "news reader". This is a piece of software that checks RSS feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added to them. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your email using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.
Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want to receive in your news reader, by finding and subscribing to the relevant RSS feeds from the websites. Pages selected to deliver RSS feeds will have an orange RSS button on the page.
Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, automatically check for RSS feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to RSS feeds much easier. For more details on these, please check their websites.