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What is RSS?


Really Simple Syndication

There is some controversy over what the RSS actually stands for, but most agree with ’Really Simple Syndication’. The basic idea is that the content on a website is made available in a standard manner that can be read by a ’reader’. On the Oxford Learning website, we’ve made all of the articles in the Let’s Talk section available in this fashion.

RSS icon

Why would I use RSS?

It’s difficult to keep up with news on a variety of sites and RSS allows you to use a news reader program to regularly check many websites for new content. In the past, you may have subscribed to newsletters and received new content via email. RSS works in a similar fashion except you do not need to sign up or register with the website. You don’t need to supply your email address and you can cancel at any time. You only need to add the RSS feed link to your news reader software. After that, the news reader program will check automatically for new content on any of your chosen sites very much like email. New articles, postings or other content will be displayed as ’unread’ in your news reader software.

So, if you like the articles you found on our website and wish to have upcoming articles sent to you simply add the Oxford Learning feed to your feed list. Add this link to your news reader software RSS listing. You will have to check your news reader documentation to find out how to add these links. The news reader will then regularly check the Oxford Learning website for new content. When we post a new article on our website the news reader on your computer will automatically recognize that, download the article (or a summary of the article depending on the configuration) and present it to you. If you decide that you no longer wish to receive the feed, you can simply delete the feed from your feed list.

How many websites now offer RSS feeds?

Many websites already support RSS and the number is growing. Nearly all blogs and news organizations now offer RSS. You may have seen the following icon which represent available RSS feeds:RSS feed

How do I get started?

The first thing you need is a RSS news reader program. You may already have the required software. There are many news readers currently available with more appearing each day. Here is a short list of free news readers:

Program Description
Safari The latest Safari web browser version supports RSS
Thunderbird Email application with RSS reader functionality
FireFox Web browser with RSS reader functionality
My Yahoo! Web based RSS reader for Yahoo users
Bloglines Web based RSS reader – requires free registration
RSS Reader Windows based RSS reader
Feed Reader Windows based RSS reader
Tickershock Mac OS X based RSS reader
Liferea Linux based RSS reader
Straw Linux Gnome based RSS reader

These links are provided for convenience only. Oxford Learning does not endorse these products or services.

With the software installed, you only need to add RSS feeds. This typically involves copying the RSS link and pasting it into the RSS reader. Checking for new content is as easy as downloading email.

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