RSS Quickstart Guide
RSS is an acronym
for Really Simple Syndication. It is what it claims to be: a quick and
easy way to create and use "syndicated content" such as news headlines
and announcements. Some websites (like this one) use RSS to deliver
articles and article previews to readers who are simply too busy to
browse to our site and dig up the content they are interested in. Other
sites use RSS to alert customers of new products or upcoming events.
Step 1: Get a Reader!
The easiest way to experience RSS is through an RSS "newsreader" or
"aggregator" for your desktop computer. This will fetch and organize
recent content and provide simple ways to read it. Below is a list of
free and recommended RSS clients for Windows, Macintosh,
and Linux platforms. Choose and install the one that sounds like the
best fit for you, and proceed to the next step.
BlogExpress for Windows 98 or later.
Newbies don't need to look any further than this. Providing a familiar,
usable interface and high-usability; BlogExpress stands out as an invaluable
tool for those getting started with RSS.
SharpReader for Windows 98
SharpReader is a clean and simple RSS reader for Windows. While it doesn't
provide the myriad of features found in bigger, more expensive clients;
it does the job and does it well.
FeedReader for Windows 98 or later.
Power-hungry techies will find this open source aggregator more to their
liking. With more advanced features and options, it will keep geeks
satisfied while giving more growth-room for newbies.
NetNewsWire Lite for Mac
OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) or later.
While not as powerful as its big brother, this is the cleanest and most
elegant RSS reader for the Mac platform. A strong sense of usability
and sophistication are sure to satisfy the most devoted Mac users.
Lifera for Linux with Gnome 2.
While not for the beginners, Lifera is so far the best (if not only)
RSS reader on Linux with a usable interface and sophisticated aggregation
features. Lifera is sure to please the Linux community with its simple,
clean, and effective interface and features.
BlogLines for anyone
with a web browser.
BlogLines is perfect for anyone who can't install one of the above clients
or needs feeds on the go. A simple, clean web interface lets you manage
and read feeds from any web-capable device. The perfect solution for
computer-hoppers or those unable to install an aggregator for whatever
Step 2: Grab the feeds!
On the sidebar of this site you will see a list of links to our RSS
feeds. There are feeds for all the articles on this site as well as
more specific feeds for particular topics. Choose the one you'd like
to use and copy and paste the link into the appropriate section of your
RSS reader. On most browsers you can right-click the link and select
"copy shortcut" or "copy target address" or something similar. And again,
some RSS feeds will "auto discover" the RSS feeds on sites you browse,
so no cutting and pasting is necessary! Please consult the documentation
for your RSS reader for more information.
Step 3: View the content!
The feeds on this site contain a wealth of data and metadata that you're
sure to find useful. All the RSS 1.0 feeds contain full article text
as well as comments and related content on other sites. Individual RSS
readers present this information differently and you can usually customize
the intimate details as you please.
That's about it!
You don't have to come to our site to read articles that don't interest
you, and you can preview all you favorite content from the same place!
You can also add RSS feeds from your favorite blogs, sites, and stores
just as easily as you added our feeds.
And don't think the feed readers listed above are all you have to choose
from. See our Resources
section for links to various feed readers and aggregators for a
variety of platforms and uses.
If you want to get real geeky, there are many other things you can
do with RSS feeds above and beyond simple feed reading in a desktop
client. You can publish our feeds directly on your site, or you can
write software that crawls our feeds and alerts you of particular topics
of interest. Check out the Resources section for more information, as
well as articles on how to build your own RSS feeds and aggregate others!
But it doesn't help me!
Did you miss something? Did we miss something? Let us know if this article doesn't
help you get started with RSS, so that we can improve it so that it