US NSF - National Science Foundation

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RSS Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS RSS?

There is some discussion about what RSS stands for, but one popular translation is "Really Simple Syndication." It is a format used for syndicating online content that allows you to choose the content you want and have it delivered directly to you.

HOW DO I START USING RSS?

One way to access an RSS feed is by using an RSS reader, also called an aggregator. These programs allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds. RSS readers are set up to periodically check for content items in the feeds to which you subscribe, often every hour or half hour. So the content comes to you, rather than you having to go to the content.

Most RSS readers are programs that you download. They may be standalone programs or integrate into a program that you already use, such as Microsoft Outlook or the Mozilla browser. Many of them are free. A list of available readers can be found at the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!

HOW DO I ACCESS AN RSS FEED WITH MY READER?

The NSF site identifies content available as an RSS feed with an orange button:  RSS icon . To subscribe to the feed, drag the orange button into your RSS reader, or click on the button and copy the URL from your browser into your RSS reader.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, Opera and Safari, have functionality that automatically detects the RSS feeds available on a page. Detailed instructions on subscribing to RSS feeds in these browsers are provided on their web sites at: Firefox, IE7, Opera, Safari.

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