What is RSS?

RSS feeds enable information to be easily shared and syndicated across the Internet. They allow software to automatically collect the latest information from websites that support RSS, including news and events, and compile them into a single, common display. This software is commonly called a news reader. It is possible to add feeds to your website or blog, and some web browsers also integrate newsfeeds into their interface. Probono.net's RSS feed is provided as a service to the public interest legal community.

How do I use an RSS feed?

The most common way that RSS feeds are used is in newsreaders (also called feedreaders or aggregators). There are many different feed readers available, including Google Readerand FeedReader. NetVibes is a free service that integrates RSS, calendar, email, web storage and other services into one web-based application.

A second way to use RSS feeds is to integrate them into your website or blog. Some websites and blogs have this ability built-in. If this is not the case, you can search the internet for a free HTML JavaScript tool for integrating RSS feeds into your website. There are many available to choose from. Feeds work dynamically, so headlines are updated on your website or blog as soon as they are published on the feed creator's site.

A final way to use RSS feeds is through a web browser. For example, Mozilla Firefox supports this functionality, as does Safari for Mac OS X.

Where can I learn more about RSS?

There are a number of good resources about RSS on the web. For a good description of data feeds generally, see Feed 101by FeedBurner. For a more in-depth technical description of RSS and related technologies, see "Web feed" and "RSS (file format)"on Wikipedia.