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SSA website now supports RSS

Find out all about RSS technology and what it can do for you.

What is RSS?
How can I use RSS?
How do I get a news reader?
Can I use these feeds on my site?

What is RSS?
RSS allows you to see when sites from all over the internet have added new content. You can get the latest headlines and articles consolidated into one place, as soon as they are published, without having to remember to visit each site every day.

There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people plump for 'Really Simple Syndication'. RSS feeds are just a special kind of web page, designed to be read by computers rather than people. It might help to think of them as the free, internet version of the old-fashioned ticker-tape news wire machines.

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How do I start using RSS feeds?
In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks RSS feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added to them. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. 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.

Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want to receive in your news reader, by finding and subscribing to the relevant RSS feeds.

If you click on the button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the RSS 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 RSS feeds use a similar orange RSS button, but some may just have a normal web link to the feed.

You can subscribe to individual member or committee blogs and/or you can choose to subscribe to the consolidated member blog feed or to the general news feed. Because the application that connects to an RSS feed is not authenticated by the SSA web server only those items that have been marked by the author as 'public' will feature in the RSS feed.

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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.

Some suggest browser based news readers include...

In addition many well known web homepages already support rss feeds...

Also, some browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, Opera and Safari, automatically check for RSS feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to RSS feeds much easier. Firefox also provides live bookmarks so you can always keep track of new content. For more details on these, please check their websites.

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Using SSA RSS feeds on your site
If you run your own website, you can use RSS feeds to display the latest headlines from other websites on your site.

We encourage the use of SSA News RSS feeds as part of a website. However, we do require that the proper format and attribution is used when syndicating SSA content. The attribution text should read "SSA News" or "From SSA News" as appropriate.

The SSA does not accept any liability for its RSS feeds. Please see the Legal Disclaimer for full details.

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Posted: 4/27/2007 By: E-Communications Committee

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