What Is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's an easy way for you to keep up with information that's important to you, without having to search for information on websites. Instead, the content you want, called a feed, is delivered directly to you - without any clutter in your email inbox.

RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which is why you commonly see RSS buttons labeled with an XML icon.

What Is an RSS Reader?

An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location.

Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?

Some browsers, such as the current version of Safari, have built-in RSS readers. But if you're using a browser that doesn't currently support RSS, there are a variety of RSS readers available on the web; some are free to download, such as Feed Reader or Feed Demon, and others are available for purchase. (Note - currently the NACC feed does not display properly in Thunderbird or Firefox.)

How Do I Use RSS Feeds?

The first step is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a channel. Follow the directions for your reader but, in most cases, it works something like this:

  • Click on the link or small RSS or XML button near the feed you want.
  • From your web browser's address bar, copy the URL (web address). For example, the URL you would copy for NACC Updates is: https://www.alz.washington.edu/naccrssv2.xml .
  • Paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display, and the headlines will be regularly updated for you.