RSS is the new way of keeping yourself up-to-date RSS (which, in its most recent format, stands for "Really Simple Syndication") Some expand it as - Rich Site Summary
By RSS Feeds Easily stay informed by subscribing the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not visiting each site individually. Your privacy is maintained unlike subscribing to each site's newsletter
What all is Required for this? A PLACE to mix the new content of your interest RSS READER and Content in Special Format RSS Feeds
RSS READERs Desktop Softwares Online Services
Even smart cell phones have means to read RSS
Where to get RSS Feeds Blogs – Most are RSS Enabled Web sites - Check for buttons Databases – Execute your search query Create RSS Feed
Connecting READER with FEEDS Clicking on RSS Button will reveal the URL of the RSS Feed Copy the URL Paste the URL in your READER and subscribe the FEED
OK, we will take an example
Say for Example I am interested in News – Let me know what current News are reported by NDTV.COM I read blogs, so let me know what is latest on Peter Suber’s Blog. I want to know what all new articles are deposited in my favorite repository - What all new articles are added in my favorite database - PubMed - on the topic “Medical Informatics in India”?
Ok, we will use Google Reader as our RSS Reader for this example
Look for Add Subscription
Click on Add Subscription
We will now subscribe to RSS feeds One by One Let us first add Feed from News Site i.e. NDTV in our example
Open a New Window in your browser go to the site i.e. NDTV.COM
Click on RSS button and Get URL of your RSS Feed for News
Just Look URL. COPY it with Ctrl + C
Paste the URL Here Ctrl+V Paste the URL Here Ctrl+V
Wow, Your News are Here
Now let us subscribe a blog! Remember M ost blogs are RSS enabled So no need to look for any Orange Button. Just enter the blog URL
Now let us add a feed from Blog now.
Repeat steps for Adding Subscription
Wow, Blog feed is here
To subscribe RSS Feed from any site Look for Orange Buttons Click and get the URL
Now for Repository. Look for RSS Button. Now for Repository. Look for RSS Button.
Look for URL Above and Copy it.
And it has been done! And it has been done!
You can also create / customize an RSS feed to suit interest. However the site should provide such facility Let us see how we can create an RSS Feed on PubMed Database Site on a Query
Now let us create a feed from PubMED
Enter your Query as you do normally.
In Display Menu - Click on Drop Down Option for RSS
Click on Create Feed
Look for Small Orange Icon – and Click it.
Copy the URL of the Feed.
And no surprise, It is Done
You can Manage yours RSS Subscriptions
See them all at one place. No need to visit each site. See them all at one place. No need to visit each site.
You can even Export or Import your subscriptions to / from Other Readers
We have seen the usefulness of RSS. Now let see what is this RSS?
Blogs Saved Searchers Social Bookmarking Wikis News Syndication Isn’t that R eally S imple?
RSS Stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. Can also stand for “Rich Site Summary”, or “RDF Site Summary”.
“Really Simple Syndication ” is the default expansion of RSS nowadays.
RSS is written in XML language for syndicating information items on web.
RSS Format RSS feed is an XML file containing a list of items or entries. items are identified by links and can have some metadata associated with it. The most basic metadata for an item includes a title for the link and a description of it.
For example, a simple entry of an ‘item’ might look like Title of an item in feed This is the description of the item.
Some Important Tags rss – it is used to mark the global container. channel – is used to mark the distributing channel. It has several descriptive tags and holds one or several items.
Required tags for the channel title - The title of the channel. Should contain the name. link - URL of the website that provides this channel. d escription - Summary of what the provider is. i tem. At least one item tag for the content of the feed.
Channel Title Some Description …..
Each item tag must hold these tags: title. Title of the article. link. The URL of the page. description. Summary of the article.
Surya Kiran trainer jet crashes in Karnataka, pilot killed A pilot of an Indian Kiran trainer jet was killed in a crash on Wednesday morning near Bidar in Karnataka …….
Format looks too complicated? Don’t worry In practice you will perhaps never need to create an RSS Feed manually. For all practical purposes you will be using RSS Enabled content managers or some other tools to exact data from pages and generate Feeds.
How does RSS work? Content Provider Content Consumer
How RSS Feeds are created? Manual Markup You markup the content manually. Software Assisted You just type in the content in forms. The software generates the markup. Publishing Platforms You simply use RSS enabled publishing platform / content manager.
Software Assisted Manual mark-up is not required. Number of software options are available to assist in creating RSS Feeds.
One such software is Download from
Just fill in few forms and it will generate XML file i.e. RSS Feed
RSS enabled Publishing platforms Content managers Database based applications Modern Library Automation Softwares
Modern publishing and content management platforms are RSS enabled Blogging platforms like – Blogger, Wordpress, Livejournal, Movable Type Some popular open source, server-side, portal content management systems such as PostNuke, (php), PHP- Nuke,(php) phpWebLog (php), SlashDot (Perl), Squishdot (Zope), Rusty Foster's Scoop (Perl), Roller (Java), and Drupal (php) can also create and display RSS feeds using their built-in news aggregators.PostNukePHP- NukephpWebLogSlashDot SquishdotScoopRollerDrupal
WEB 2.0 Applications are RSS enabled
Database Driven Applications Database driven applications can easily be made RSS enabled by creating reports (displaying items) in XML format for RSS Feeds
PERL Script used in OpenMED (EPRINTS) TO Generate RSS Feed
Libraries and RSS Libraries are ideal candidates for adopting and using RSS to their advantage as – Information Producers – Information Gateways – Information Consumers
Libraries as Information Producers As information producers, libraries maintain their web sites providing information about its services, new additions, announcements and other many other information tools like OPAC
Libraries Can - Create an RSS feed for new additions to the online catalogue Create an RSS feed tied to a library card account for hold notifications and/or overdue materials. Create an RSS feed for new programs and events posted on the library website. Create an RSS feed for the library’s electronic newsletter. Create an RSS feed for press releases and other media advisories. Create an RSS feed for library closings, including emergency closings. Create an RSS feed for library job openings
As a gateway to information, libraries can: Subscribe to a few RSS feeds, such as local news websites, and share the content on the library’s website. Subscribe and share RSS feeds of interest to library users. Compile list of useful RSS feeds with suitable annotation to help users to pick up feeds of their interest.
Libraries can Re-Publish RSS Feeds Create RSS Feeds from databases like PubMed on “queries” that might be of interest to various departments of parent institute of the library Subscribe to RSS feeds of interest to library users and re-publish them
Content of RSS feeds can be displayed from websites by running suitable scripts at web servers. When someone visits such websites these scripts get activated. Scripts extract RSS Feeds from providers’ websites and display items with appropriate links to providers’ pages.
Let us take a simple example of Re-publishing RSS Feeds for special interest groups Say there is a university department for “Medical Informatics”. Faculty and Students would like to be alerted on what all is being published on “Medical Informatics”.
Generate an RSS Feed by suitable query
For our example we will select a site that allows to publish RSS Feeds for free. (There are many such services)
Libraries as consumer can subscribe to Feeds of Interest to Librarians
Conclusion RSS is a new way of delivering and consuming information Librarians and Libraries should exploit this technology to effectively promote the content they produce Help their users to select appropriate feeds Re-Publish selective RSS Feeds to cater special target groups Use this technology to keep themselves up-to-date in this era of Information Explosion
Further Reading: RSS - A Primer for Publishers & Content Providers (M.Moffat) - convincing rationale for RSS and valuable Q&A - Searching RSS Channels for News (Utah State Library) - RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters (M. Nottingham) - Set Up a Simple Syndication Feed Using RSS (L. Angelius) - RSS FAQ (Ed Pimentel) - #a1637 #a1637 RSS 0.92: A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to Creating Your First Document(M. Trump) -
PHP and XML: Parsing RSS 1.0 (K. Yank) - Explanation of RSS, How You Can Use it, and Finding RSS Feeds (M.Fagan) - What is RSS and how can it serve libraries? Library 2.0: RSS Feeds Dynamic Uses for Special Libraries 10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS - The Moxie Librarian