What is a RSS or Atom feed?
RSS and Atom are versions (or flavors) of web feeds. Web feeds let subscribers know when a web site or blog they subscribe to has updated its content. Most subscribers use a feed reader (also called an aggregator or news reader, see image below) to collect all of their web feeds in one place. With the use of a feed reader you can see dozens of feeds and whether they’ve been recently updated. There are many places you can put and use your feed reader: on your web browser, on your desktop, through your email, or through mobile devices.
Setting up a Feed Reader
To begin with, pick a feed reader service that works best for you (see recommendations below or check out an extensive list of feed readers on newsonfeeds.com). Depending on what kind of feed reader you choose you’ll either have to create a login for a web site, download a program to your computer, or set up an email service. Once you’ve set up a feed reader, make your way to your favorite blogs, web sites, and news sources and start collecting feeds.
How would you like to view your feeds? Check out the feed readers below or visit newsonfeeds.com to find which option works best for you.
These options allow you to use your feed reader through a web site, rather than downloading software onto your browser or desktop.
Get updates on your feeds through your browser window. These services require a free software download.
- Sage – Sage is a plugin for those who use Firefox as their browser.
Receive updates on your feeds through your email.
- The AHA is currently working on an email-based subscription service for the AHA Today blog.
- Yahoo Mail
For more definitions and explanation on RSS, Atom, feeds, and feed readers, see the following resources: