About RSS

How to Use and Subscribe to RSS Feeds

RSS is a format that websites use to publish content in a standardized way.

You can use RSS to get new content delivered straight to your computer or device for free, via what's known as an RSS reader.

Once you've subscribed to a website's RSS "feed," your RSS Reader will be updated every time new content is added to that site. (You can subscribe to the Mind Tools RSS feed here.)

Most RSS readers work a bit like your email inbox. New items appear whenever one of the feeds that you've subscribed to is updated with new content. You can then scan through each item, ignoring any that aren't of interest, and selecting the articles and content that you want to read.

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary."

Getting Started With RSS

Before you can subscribe to an RSS feed, you'll need to use an RSS reader like Google Reader or Bloglines. These are both Web-based, which means that you can access your RSS subscriptions from almost any device, as long as you have a Web connection.

The latest versions of Web browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox also have integrated RSS functionality. The disadvantage of these is that it can be difficult to access your RSS subscriptions if you're away from your computer.

Subscribing to RSS Feeds

To subscribe to a website's RSS feed, just look for the link on the site – this will usually be accompanied by the orange RSS icon (similar to the one in the image above).

Then, depending on the RSS reader you're using, you can either click on the link to subscribe, or copy the feed's URL (web address) into your RSS reader. Some websites offer multiple RSS feeds, so that can you decide what types of new content you want to subscribe to.

Using RSS With Other Social Media Tools

The advantage of using RSS compared with social media tools like Twitter and LinkedIn is that you won't miss anything important if you don't login regularly.

You can also read most articles in your RSS reader, without having to visit multiple websites.

That said, services like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are also really useful for keeping up-to-date with your industry, and for discovering new websites and news sources.

(Remember that as well as subscribing to our RSS feed, you can also follow Mind Tools on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.)