RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”, a way in which web site publishers can “broadcast” (using the term loosely) changes to their site. RSS is an XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to “feeds” from their favorite websites. You might have seen the RSS icon alerting visitors that a “feed” is available. An RSS feed is created in a standardized format such that it can be viewed and organized in RSS-enabled software called a “feed reader” or “news aggregator”. These programs can check a web site feed for updates and display the new features for the user. A routinely updated feed can also be displayed on another web site. Web portals like Yahoo and Google have RSS-enabled personal home pages that can be customized by the user.
Increasingly, web browsers like Microsoft’s IE 7 and Firefox’s “Livebookmarks” feature enable users to view these feeds without the need for a seaparate, stand alone program. There have been several implementations of RSS, not all completely compatible with one another. For more detailed description of RSS and other types of syndication see the fine Wikipedia article .
- Google Reader (from Google labs)
- FeedDemon (Windows)
- Amphetadesk (Windows, Linux, Mac)
- NetNewsWire (Mac)
- Radio (Windows or Mac)
- NewsWatcher (Windows XP)
- NewzCrawler (Windows) and
- Shrook (for Mac OS 10).
RSS feeds for Geoscience
Here is a selection of RSS feeds geoscientists may be interested in:
Subscribing to an RSS feed using Firefox Live Bookmarks
Placing your cursor over the icon in Firefox brings up the “Subscribe to this page” button.
Clicking on the “Subscribe Now” button displays the “Add Live Bookmark” dialogue box. Choose the place you want to create the bookmark in and click “OK”. I placed mine on Firefox’s Bookmarks Toolbar (“Links” tool bar in Internet Explorer) for quick access. Clicking on the feed displays a list of recent updates.