How to Use RSS

RSS, an abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication, us used to publish frequently updated publications like blogs or news items. The RSS feed, as it is normally called contains published text as excerpts or full text along with meta data like publish date, author etc. The benefits to the publisher by RSS are that they can make it available to the readers very easily, without the reader having to come to the site. Also the readers are benefited in a way that everything, from fresh news feed, to the latest article from a blog is available at one place.

The are two ways of accessing feed. Either offline or online. Online requires the reader to go online and stay so while reading out the article. There are many online readers and the most popular is google reader. Lets see how to setup the feed in google reader.

  • Go to google reader link, by searching it on google.
  • Login using google credentials which you have, or create new user id and password.
  • One you reach the reader, click on the button on top left corner, “Add a Subscription”
  • In the textbox, enter the feed url provided on the publishers website. The feed url will look something like “http://wordfight.in/feed” or “http://feeds.feedburner.com/wordfight”.
  • Click Add.
  • On the left hand side bottom, you will see the subscriptions section where you will get the title for the RSS feed.
  • Once you click on the title, all the latest publications are listed in either summarized form or full text, as set by the publisher.

Check out the video for clarification.

The second way to access feed is the offline method. For that we require an offline client similar to mail client like thunderbird or outlook. In fact some of the mail clients support RSS. And accessing the feed is very similar to accessing the mails.

The offline client that I am using is feedreader. You can download it here.

  • Run the setup to install feedreader, and start the application.
  • On the left hand side top corner, click on new and select “New Feed”.
  • In the address bar, enter the feed url. It’s the same as one mentioned in previous section.
  • Click “Ok”
  • On the left hand side pane, you will get the title of the feed. On clicking the feed title, the next column will list the articles published by the publisher.
  • Click on the title of the article to access the contents in the reading pane.

For offline feed reader to work, we need the internet connection initially for synchronization. Once the data is downloaded, the connection can be switched off. This is similar to accessing POP mails in an offline mail client.

Check out the video to understand better.

I hope this clarifies the topic for a novice. For any more clarifications, please contact me through the comments section.

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