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What is RSS?

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" -- it's a format for distributing and gathering content from sources across the Web, including newspapers, magazines, and blogs. RSS is an easy way for Web sites to share headlines and stories from other sites. The Christian Science Monitor, CNN, and CNET News are among the many sites that now deliver updated online content via RSS.

RSS is a text-based format, a type of XML. You should know that only because often RSS files are often labeled as XML. RSS version 1.0 is also RDF (whatever), which, again, is important only because an RSS file may be labeled as RDF. One of the most useful aspects of RSS is that is enables you to create your own “newspaper” of headlines from the news sources of your choice.

How do I use it?

1) Using your Internet browser

As of yet you cannot use Internet Explorer, Netscape, or other browser directly to read an RSS feed. However, Web site services such as My Yahoo! and My MSN allow you to read RSS feeds through your Web browser.

2) Using an aggregator program

There is software designed for reading RSS that you download. One of the most popular online aggregators is Bloglines. Aggregator software that runs on your own computer may be a stand-alone program or integrated into a program that you already use, such as Microsoft Outlook. Yahoo! has a directory of aggregator programs.

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