Education, Tech

RSS Feed Readers explained and where you can get one

Can it replace your Twitter feed?

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 8, 2022

Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, is a straightforward, simple, and standardized form of content distribution that can help you stay current with your preferred news sources, blogs, websites, and social media channels. A lot of people have not heard of RSS readers before, and that’s okay. They were more or less obscure for a while to the public, but are starting to gain in popularity.


Where do I find one?

You can easily find the RSS feed on a website and read new posts in an RSS reader instead of visiting individual sites to find new posts or signing up for newsletters and notifications to know of new posts.


Website owners can post notices of new content on their websites using RSS. Podcasts, blog articles, weather reports, and newscasts are examples of this content. In order to do this, web authors can create a text file with the XML file extension that then gets added to the RSS feed that holds the title, description, as well as a link for each post on the site.


Basically, you can subscribe to an RSS feed of a website, and then you can browse the content in an RSS reader. When website visitors subscribe to this RSS feed, they read the new website content in an RSS reader. These RSS readers gather information from various XML files, organize it, and then they display it in a single program.


Why should I get one?

You can really do a lot with an RSS reader and feed. Without visiting every page to see new updates, you can actually stay up-to-date and follow debates on websites and in forums. You can also benefit from other advantages, like being informed of local, national, and international news from a variety of sources, all filtered through the RSS reader.


How do I get one?

Essentially, the RSS feed consolidates all the information and puts it in one place. In order to find an RSS feed on a website, all you have to do is visit the main page of the site, and look for an orange button that contains either “RSS” or “XML” acronyms. To view the XML file that governs a website’s feed, click the RSS icon or link when you locate an RSS feed that sounds interesting. To subscribe to the feed with an RSS reader, use this same RSS link.


An RSS reader on the other hand functions like an inbox does. So when you subscribe to an RSS feed for a website, it goes to the RSS reader. There are several RSS readers, you can either use the web browser version and find a free online RSS reader here or get a desktop app. A popular RSS reader is Feedly, which is a cloud-based reader that can be downloaded on Android and iOS, as well as accessed on web browsers.


In order to subscribe to an RSS feed in Feedly on a desktop, here are the steps you have to take:

  • Copy the URL of an RSS feed.
  • Paste the URL in the Feedly Search box and select the RSS feed from the list of sources.
  • Select Follow.
  • Select New Feed.
  • Enter a descriptive name for the feed.
  • Select Create.
  • In the left pane, select the RSS feed.
  • Select the content you want to read.
  • To save the content to read later, hover over the bookmark icon (Read Later) or the star (Save to Board).


Media companies have used RSS feeds for years to double and triple check facts and coverage. Maybe creating an RSS feed will stop you from spotting fake news on TikTok. (It can happen to the best of us.)


Photo via Feedly