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Using RSS Feeds to Stay on Top of Industry News


This orange symbol indicates an RSS feed.


RSS Feeds are a type of XML file. You cannot really read the XML file on its own, but the aggregators know how to interpret it.


When collecting RSS feeds within an aggregator, USE FOLDERS and give them clear names. You can collect the feeds within the folders so they stay organized and easy to use.

Intro to RSS Feeds

An RSS Feed is a special type of file format that is used for content that updates frequently. Common examples are blogs, news, weather, podcasts, and even collections of shared bookmarks like Delicious or Diigo.

RSS is most commonly said to mean "Really Simple Syndication." Think of how comic strips are syndicated. When a new one is published, all the newspapers that subscribe to that syndicated comic get the latest one sent to them, so they can print it in the newspaper. RSS feeds work the same way. When a webpage has new content added, everyone who subscribes to that RSS feed gets the new content sent to them.

Aggregators & Customized Homepages

An aggregator or customizable homepage is what you need if you want to collect RSS feeds. You can have more than one, but for simplicity's sake, one is enough.

Examples of aggregators are: Google Reader, Bloglines, and MS Outlook. Use the tabs at the top to find out more about each of these.

Examples of customizable homepages include:  Protopage, Netvibes, MyYahoo, iGoogle (iGoogle is being discontinued in Fall 2013).

Also, don't forget feed readers with mobile devices!  My favorites include:  Flipbook and Feedly

Copying an RSS link

When you find a page that you want to subscribe to, look for an orange  or  or .

Click on that orange icon to subscribe. If it pops up with a page full of code, click the BACK arrow, then right-click on the orange icon and choose "Copy link address" or "Copy shortcut." You will paste that link into your aggregator.

Assoc. Dean for Public Services, Butler Libraries

Sally Neal's picture
Sally Neal
Butler University
109B Irwin Library

Neal Evaluation


Email Butler University Libraries
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