Office of University Communications
What is RSS?
Options for Accessing RSS Feeds
News Aggregator Software
E-mail RSS Readers
Yahoo and Google
What is RSS?
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." The acronym is shorthand for an automated service that allows subscribers to receive news and updates from online sources.
Programs that can read RSS feeds are called "news aggregators" or “news readers.” The four most common options include:
- News readers integrated within RSS-compatible Web browsers,
- News aggregator/reader software,
- News readers integrated within e-mail software programs and services, and
- Personalized Web pages on sites like Google and Yahoo!.
In order to view RSS feeds:
- You must have one of the above-mentioned news reader options, and
- subscribe to an RSS service offered by a Web site by clicking on an RSS icon ( or ) or by copying an RSS link and pasting it into a news reader software or service.
Options for Accessing RSS Feeds
Option 1. Web Browsers
In order to view RSS feeds from within a Web browser, you must have an RSS-compatible browser installed on your computer. The following are links to RSS-compatible Web browsers:
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (for Mac or PC)
NOTE: As with any upgrade to your computer, there will be a set-up process, which includes creating your start-up page and importing bookmarks and saved information from your current Web browser to your newly installed Web browser. In many instances, this is an automated process and runs smoothly. However, if you are installing a new Web browser rather than upgrading your current one, be aware that your bookmarks and other saved files may not automatically transfer.
Once you have installed an RSS-compatible Web browser, simply locate an enabled RSS feed icon on a
1. web page (e.g. or )
2. web browser (), or
3. browser URL field ()
and click on it. When you click on the icon, you will be taken to a page where you will see both the feed content (news headlines with links) and instructions on how to subscribe to the RSS feed.
Please note that if you click on one of these icons with a non-compatible Web browser, you will see Web code (gobble-de-gook), rather than content. If this occurs, you will need to install an RSS-compatible Web browser in order to read and subscribe to the news feed.
RSS Tutorials for Web Browsers
If you need help setting up RSS feeds in your RSS-compatible Web browser, you can learn how by accessing the appropriate tutorial below:
Option 2. News Aggregator/Reader Software
If you do not wish to install a new or upgraded Web browser, you can install stand-alone news reader software like FeedReader or NewsGator (for Windows), or Shrook (for Macs). The services will provide instructions on subscribing to RSS feeds in the installation process. Please also refer to instructions below regarding the RSS feed link.
Option 3. E-mail RSS Readers
Outlook 2007 and Thunderbird (FireFox’s e-mail service) also allow users to subscribe to RSS feeds. Note that Outlook 2003 does NOT provide the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds. Please refer to their Help sections for instructions on subscribing to RSS feeds, and the instructions below regarding the RSS feed link.
Option 4. Yahoo and Google
Both Yahoo! and Google allow users who have created personalized web pages [Yahoo! (http://my.yahoo.com/) and Google (http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en)] to subscribe to RSS feeds through their personalized pages. Please refer to the Yahoo! or Google Help and Tutorial guides for information on how to subscribe and view RSS feeds on personalized Web pages. Also, see the instructions below regarding the RSS feed link.
RSS Feed Link Instructions
Options 2-4 will ask that you insert an RSS feed link (URL) in order to subscribe to a specific RSS feed. This link will be found within your browser's URL field. For example, in order to subscribe to Marymount University's 26th Street Project Construction Updates, when you click on the RSS icon (), your browser will take you to the RSS feed page. Regardless of whether you see the RSS feed and instructions on how to subcribe, or gobble-de-gook Web code, copy the the URL link from the Web browser (in this case: http://archive.marymount.edu/26thstreetproject/construction.xml) and paste it into the appropriate place specified by the instructions provided by the program or service you are using.