RSS Information Center
Find out more about RSS, text feeds and podcasts and how to use and subscribe to a feed by going to the following links:
What is RSS?
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a format for syndicating content. It is essentially a constantly updated XML file that pulls information from a database and makes it available online.
You can use Oakland University's RSS feeds to quickly and easily view updated information from various OU Web sites. There are three types of information that can be syndicated: text, audio and video. Written articles are called text feeds. Audio or video files are done in a podcast format.
What are the advantages of using RSS?
- Get messages delivered directly to your desktop.
- Get around strict SPAM filters - messages always get through.
- No need to give your e-mail address. You subscribe to the RSS feeds you want.
- Get updates instantly. As soon as the feeds you subscribe to are published, they are delivered to you.
- Along with Oakland University, RSS already is used as a format for syndicating news and the content on many other sites, including major news sites like CNN, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs (blogs).
- Yahoo and MSN already are publishing a number of RSS feeds on different subjects.
- In the newest version of Internet Explorer (IE 7), an RSS aggregator is built in, just like it's already built into the Mozilla Firefox browser, Opera browser and Thunderbird E-mail Client.
How can I use RSS feeds?
You will most likely use a program called a news aggregator to view RSS feeds. These programs display RSS feeds from your chosen Web sites on your computer. All you have to do is choose which RSS feeds you want. For instance, the Oakland University Calendar - Students feed displays information pulled from the database that has student calendar events, the same as the actual OU Calendar Web page.
If a webmaster of a site wants to display RSS feed information on their site, it is a bit more technical. They basically have to use the XML file that the news aggregators are using, but create the link themselves on their site.
How can I subscribe to an RSS feed?
Clicking on any of the links displayed at the top of this page will bring you to the page that contains the information for the RSS feed. If you have a Web browser that automatically aggregates the feeds for you, you are all set. If not, you will need to follow the instructions for your particular news aggregator to add this XML feed to your RSS list.