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Frequently Asked Questions about RSS

What is RSS?

The acronym "RSS" stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary". An RSS feed or news feed is an online file, not in hypertext like this page but formatted in XML for a range of devices.

What is a news feed reader?

News feed reader or news aggregator software combines in one place current links from many news sources.

Why use a news feed reader?

Feed readers allow you to quickly follow the topics you choose. Many feed readers are integrated into e-mail programs or web browsers, or will pop up a new window when a new article is available.

Where can I get an RSS feed reader?

There are many free and inexpensive readers and websites that display RSS feeds. Some of the most popular are listed at right.

What is web syndication?

Syndication on the web means that a section of a website is made available for other sites to use. The RSS feeds on this page are an example of syndication of Virginia Tech News. Readers "subscribe" to the feed simply by pasting the link into a news reader.

Guide to RSS


If you are not currently using a news reader, select one to maintain your collection of feeds. Popular readers:



Mac OS X



Click on the name of the feed from the list to the left. In the top right corner of the feed page, click the Subscribe link.


Copy the link (page URL) and paste it into a news reader.