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What is RSS?

In a world heaving under the weight of billions of web pages, keeping up to date with the information you want can be a drag.

Wouldn't it be better to have the latest news and features delivered directly to you, rather than clicking from site to site? Well now you can, thanks to a very clever service, RSS.

There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but the majority plump for 'Really Simple Syndication'. Put plainly, it allows you to identify the content you like and have it delivered directly to you.

It takes the hassle out of staying up-to-date, by showing you the very latest information that you are interested in.

Not all websites currently provide RSS, but it is growing rapidly in popularity and many others, including the BBC, the Guardian, New York Times and CNN do provide it.

How do I use your RSS feed?
You have two choices. You can either use a news reader (sometimes called a news aggregator) or an RSS enabled web browser.

Using a news reader? Copy this URL into your news reader: http://www.developments.org.uk/
Note: if you put that url into a standard web browser then you will see the XML code that makes up the RSS feed.

Using an RSS enabled web browser (e.g. Firefox, Opera)?
When you go to our home page you will see an orange icon at the bottom right of the browser window. Clicking on this icon brings up a box with the words 'Subscribe to Learning English RSS'. If you select this then a new bookmark will be created on your toolbar (or wherever you specify.)

This bookmark will have links to all of the latest articles, activities, quizzes etc. Each time you open the browser or refresh the live bookmark it will automatically update with the latest links.

How do I start using RSS feeds?
In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. All allow you to display and subscribe to the RSS feeds you want.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, have functionality which automatically picks up RSS feeds for you. For more details on these, please check their websites.

For many RSS enabled browsers, when you go to our home page you will see an orange icon. Clicking on this icon brings up a box with the words 'Subscribe Developments RSS'. If you select this then a new bookmark will be created on your toolbar (or wherever you specify.) This bookmark will have links to all of the latest articles and news. Each time you open the browser or refresh the live bookmark it will automatically update with the latest links

How do I get a News Reader?
There are 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 take this into account when you make your choice.

Some examples include:

Windows
Newz Crawler
FeedDemon
Awasu

Mac OS X
Newsfire
NetNewsWire

Web
Bloglines
My Yahoo!
NewsGator
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