Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Feed me! (RSS)

This is pretty basic, but one of the issues with dealing with a college community is that you get a lot of people each year who are new to what the Internet needs to offer. So I wanted to discuss RSS feeds, and indicate how they're used.

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." It's a way to allow websites to notify people of new content. Instead of having to visit the website, interested users will be told when the website is changed.

You used to have to download software to see a feed, but that capability is built into web browsers. If you see that a page has a feed (usually indicated with a tiny orange icon), click on it and your web browser will let you add the feed. Most web browsers treat feeds like bookmarks, so you need to click to see if there's anything new, but you can see the titles of new items without going to the web page.

RSS is also a part of podcasting; a podcast is just an RSS feed for an audio/video file.

Siena I&TS has an RSS feed for changes to our web page; the address is Use it to keep up on what's new (we just added our Freshman Orientation presentation to the site and feed.)