Really Simple Syndication collects information for you, saving you the time of visiting many websites; for example, headlines at BBC and CNN news websites can be delivered to your computer automatically. In addition, many mobile phones and PDAs can access RSS feeds.
To access RSS feeds you use a piece of software called an RSS reader or a news reader. Sometimes this type of software is also referred to as a news aggregator since it can aggregate many news sources into one single display.
How to use RSS on the Education Scotland website
Many common web browsers now have basic RSS capabilities built into them. In Internet Explorer 7 there's a small icon on the menu bar (see picture) that becomes orange when an RSS feed is available for a given web page.
Clicking it will take you to the RSS feed. You can then opt to subscribe to that feed by clicking the link, then view all the feeds you've subscribed to by going to your favourites centre (the small yellow star at the top left of your browser window).
Other browsers (eg Firefox, Safari) also offer similar functionality.
Getting more from RSS
If you want to get the full benefits of RSS, you might want to use a dedicated, stand-alone RSS reader. These offer more time-saving features than readers that are built in to browsers.
The way you set up an RSS reader will vary depending on the software you’ve downloaded, but in general here’s what to do next:
- In your browser, go to a site that you visit often. A good place to start would be our Education news.
- Scroll down until you see a link to the RSS feed, which looks like this:.
- Right-click the link (Command + click if you’re using a one-buttoned Apple mouse) and choose 'copy link location' (or similar).
- Open up your RSS reader, click a 'subscribe' button and paste in the link you copied in step 3.
- Repeat the above steps for as many feeds as you like.
- Sit back and relax as your news reader gathers all the news for you!