How to Get Started Using RSS

By Lisa Gullette, CreatiVisibility, February 2008

RSS icon  

You often only see the image icon of a broadcast
signal instead of the letters RSS.

Go on nearly any news related Web page or blog these days and you find terms such as RSS and XML along with tiny orange icons. When you see these icons do you feel technology is rushing by you so fast that you cannot stay savvy? Do you feel “out of the loop”? Well, RSS isn’t that difficult to understand, and in fact, it is very handy to use. It brings information to you, rather than you visiting many Web sites to gather news and information.

This article takes the mystery out of this technology and puts it into your hands as a time saving tool.


RSS iconWhat is RSS?

RSS(or Really Simple Syndication) feeds are free content feeds from Web sites, including CreatiVisibility’s Web site, that contain article headlines, summaries and links back to full-text articles on the Web. RSS is a XML-based format for content distribution. This is why you see XML as well as RSS buttons on Web pages. Icon usage is evolving quickly. You often only see the image icon of a broadcast signal instead of the letters RSS.

Why use RSS?

RSS feeds information to you rather than you visiting many Web sites scanning for information. By streamlining routine information gathering, it is especially helping for finding news reports, topics on your favorite blogs, job openings in your field, business and school closings affected by weather and more. The list of uses gets longer as Webmasters find new ways to implement it on Web sites. RSS feeds deliver a summary sentence for fast scanning, and links you to the full article of interest. Additionally, individuals set up their RSS reader to aggregate many feeds into one reader program giving the user control over the incoming information. The overwhelming internet delivered to your inbox.

What tools do I need to use RSS?

To start using RSS, you need a special news reader or aggregator that displays RSS content feeds from Web sites you select. There are many different news readers available, most are free of charge and available as desktop software that you download and install on your computer. Several Web-based news readers are available with no need to set up software.

For a list of news readers and set-up instructions go to: www.rss-specifications.com/rss-readers.htm or search the Web. Firefox browser has a feature for adding your RSS feeds to your toolbar and other portals such as Google and MyYahoo offer a reader. I have also used Newsgator (Newsgator.com). Technology is now available for your mobile device.

Once you have set up your news reader, you simply subscribe to the RSS content feeds you want.

How will I add an RSS feed to my reader?

RSS is an easy way for you to be alerted when content that interests you appears on your favorite Web sites. To subscribe to a feed while your are on the Web site with the feed that interests you, click on the XML button (XML button) or the RSS (RSS button) button, to obtain the RSS URL. You will see the URL in the "Address" field of your browser. Simply copy this URL and follow the instructions for your particular news reader to subscribe. There are other subscription instructions in specific readers.

What type of information will the CreatiVisibility RSS feed to my news reader?

CreatiVisibility's news and marketing section of its Web site serves as a resource for you personally, and for your business. When a new marketing, print, or Web article or press release is posted on the news page, the RSS feed is also updated and you will get a notice on your news reader. Visit the news page or the marketing articles page for more information.

For more information about CreatiVisibility and how it can help you create, build, efficiently publish your Web site and other marketing pieces, contact us through the Web: www.CreatiVisibility.com .