What is RSS?
RSS, or really simple syndication, is an XML-based platform for distribution of Web content. The XML programming language allows Web sites to send out stripped-down summaries and updates.
Why should I use it?
RSS helps synthesize the information from your favorite web content (e.g., news headlines, blogs, journal TOCs, etc.), allowing you to easily stay updated. It also saves you time since all of your favorite information is accessible in one location so you no longer have to search each website individually.
How do I get started?
First, you'll need an aggregator (or reader), which will help you collect and display RSS feeds. There are a variety of web-based and desktop-based options. Some popular web-based RSS feeds include Google Reader, Page flakes, and Bloglines. If you prefer a desktop aggregator, you can browse through a list of them here. Once you have a reader, all you have to do is start subscribing to feeds to begin receiving updates. Many readers allow you to browse a list of the most popular feeds, or you can simply add it by visiting a Web page and clicking on the appropriate link. Icons, or chicklets, such as the orange button shown below provide one-click access to subscriptions.
Where can I find out more information?
There are quite a few sites that explain RSS in more detail. A good, albeit short, introduction is available on the Wikipedia site. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you can also read through a more comprehensive description here.
RSS still doesn't sound right for you? Don't worry, you can monitor the most updated content from the Dunand Research Group Web site in html format on this page.