What is an RSS Feed
A "Feed" or RSS is an easy and practical way for being notified of a website new content whitout having to visit the website periodically.
Every Blog, most online newspapers and a lot of e-commerce websites, offer to their users this possibility for being updated every time a new article is published or a new item is inserted in the catalogue.
On our website, for example, we decided to offer a feed for every artist, so that you can be notified every time we publish a new work for an artist you like.
Visit the artworks' list of an artist you like to find the link to the RSS feed for his works.
How to take advantage of an RSS Feed
There are many tools (called "aggregators") that you can use to to take advantage of this technology, because an RSS can be embedded into other websites, or can be browsed through different softwares. You could, for example, embed an RSS feed in your Google or Yahoo personalized home page, or browse it directly through your browser (Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, Opera, etc...), through your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird), or through specific programs called "feedreaders".
Every way to make use of the information offered by feeds is slightly different, so everyboby can choose the one that he prefers and find the easiest and more useful, this is the good thing about RSS.
It can be difficult, at the beginning, to understand how to make the most of this technology, but after having discovered how useful it can be, people usually can't live without it anymore. With feeds you have the greatest freedom and comfort: freedom because you don't have to remember to visit every day the websites you like to see what's new, you'll be automatically notified about new content; comfort because you can put together feeds from many different web sites and so you create a kind of personal newspaper with the contents you like the most, to easily read within one only place and through one only tool (that's why they have been called "aggregators").
To take advantage of the possibility a feed offers, you'll need two things: the RSS feed address and an "aggregator".
You find the RSS feed address on the web site you like to receive updates from. For example: to receive from ARTantide updates for every new artwork of an artist, visit the works' list for the artist, you'll find a link to the feed for the artist [RSS New Artworks] with the symbol for RSS feeds .
Copy the link address (right click on the link, then "copy link address") and you'll be able to insert it into your favourite aggregator.
The most difficult part is maybe choosing the aggregator to use, because it is very personal. Feed aggregators are divided into two main categories: web aggregators and software aggregators. The difference between the two is quite the same between using web-mail and using an email client installed on your pc.
Web aggregators let you read in one single web page all the "articles" from the different feeds you subscribed, they don't require installing of any software on your pc, but for using it you need an active internet connection and use your favourite browser.
Software aggregators require installing of a program on your pc, but after having downloaded feed updatea (as you are used to download emails) you'll be able to read the news even without an active internet connection.
We provide a list with some example for both categories of aggregators, in fact you'll find a lot of alternatives searching the web, these are only the most popular.
Note also that a lot of devices, such as new computers, smart phones, pdas, already offer an integrated way to read RSS feeds and a lot more offer it in the near future.
Some of the software you already have on your computer (browsers or email client) could already offer a way to read RSS feeds, even if more specific software can sometime guarantee a better use experience.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
Since version 7, the Microsoft browser offers basic support for RSS feeds. When you visit a web page, if you notice the orange icon for RSS in the toolbar, try clicking on it...
- Microsoft Outlook
The email client of the Microsoft Office suite, in his most recent versions supports RSS feeds. For more information please see Microsoft Office web site.
- Mozilla Firefox
The second most popular browser offers a very basic feed support called "live bookmarks", but we suggest, for a full support, to install an extension called NewsFox.
- Mozilla Thunderbird
The popular free email client embeds the possibility to manage RSS feeds in an easy and powerful way.
Opera browser manage feeds in a very complete and simple way.
- Specific softwares: