RSS feeds are a method for publishing and receiving updated content from a website or an online service, for example, new articles from a news service, or a new comment on a blog post. Instead of repeatedly checking a website for new content, you can subscribe to the news feed and have updates delivered to you. This becomes really useful if you regularly refer to a number of news websites or blogs, as you can gather all the feeds together in one location and see at a glance if there are any updates.
To get started using RSS feeds, you need to use an RSS aggregator or reader. You can either use an in-built RSS reader that comes as standard with Internet Explorer or a web based RSS reader.
Browser Based RSS Readers
If your using Internet Explorer browser version 7 or 8, it will come with an RSS reader already built-in. The RSS reader works in a very similar way to the “Favorites” feature of Internet Explorer.
To start using the RSS reader, simply click on the orange RSS button which you will see beside most online news feeds. As an example, we’ll subscribe to the Events feed (accessible the "Choose a feed section" to right of page. When you click on the RSS button, Internet Explorer will display a new screen showing the most recent updates to the feed, and the option to subscribe to the feed if you wish. Click the “Subscribe to this feed” link at the top of the page, and you will be asked to give the feed a name (you don’t need to change this), and you can also create folders to help categorise your subscriptions, much in the same way you would do for your “Bookmarks” or “Favorites”.
Web Based RSS Readers
Web-based RSS readers offer almost identical functionality to downloadable applications such as the Internet Explorer aggregator. The primary advantage is that being web-based, you can sign-in to your preferred service from any device that is connected to the Internet. There are a number of popular web-based services, with the most well-known being Google Reader. You will need to create a free Google Account to start using the service. If you have an existing Gmail account, you can go ahead and use this.
When you log in to Reader first, it’ll seem pretty bare as you have no subscriptions yet. You can manually add a new subscription by clicking on the ‘Add a subscription’ button, and copy and paste the URL of the feed you want to subscribe to.