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  • What are news feeds?
  • How can I use them? 
  • How do I get a news reader?
  • How to Create Your Own RSS Feeds from Catalog Searches

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What are News Feeds?

RSS Feed imageNews feeds allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest information in one place, as soon as its published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from.

Feeds are also known as RSS. There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people agree on 'Really Simple Syndication'. In essence, the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people.

How do I start using feeds?

In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications.  (For ex, the Internet Explorer 6 browser is not a RSS feed reader, but Internet Explorer 7 is.)

Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.

There are also RSS feed reader apps available for phones.

Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want it to receive. On the right hand side of this page are RSS Feeds; you will notice an orange button on the left hand side of each feed. 

If you click on the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader. Most sites that offer feeds use a similar orange button, but some may just have a normal web link.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, automatically check for feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to feeds much easier. For more details on these, please check their websites.

How do I get a news reader?

There is a range of different news readers available and new versions are appearing all the time.

Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer or phone.

Create Your Own RSS Feeds from Catalog Searches

The online catalog allows you to create an RSS feed for any search you create. Your custom feed will allow you to see when we acquire new material related to your interest.

  1. Go to the catalog http://wcls.bibliocommons.com and perform a search.
  2. If you want to, adjust the facets on the left-hand side of the results page until the search results are just what you are interested in. In particular, note the ‘New At The Library’ facet options.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the first results page and look for the RSS feed link symbol:
  4. Click the link to get to the RSS-formatted version of the page. There you can use the page’s feed subscription options, or copy the URL and paste it into your preferred RSS reader.

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