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Help with RSS Feeds

What is RSS?

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." RSS is a way to publish information online. At the heart of the technology is Web coding called XML. XML has been widely adopted by the global online community over the past few years.

The XML code for RSS describes a "data feed." Essentially, the feeds contain any Web content a creator wants to share.

Any online surfer or another Web site can pick up the RSS feed with the appropriate Web software and display the content automatically wherever they like. By subscribing to an RSS feed, users automatically receive updated content.

What Do I Need to Receive RSS Feeds?

First, you need a feed reader. Some browsers, such as the current versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox have built-in RSS readers.

Searching for "RSS feed readers" with any major online search engine (such as Google or Yahoo) will retrieve a slew of software options, many of which are free or low cost.

Once you've obtained a feed reader, subscribing to an RSS feed is as simple as looking for the appropriate XML code. Most Web sites, including AIDSinfo, indicate an RSS feed with a small orange box or button labeled "RSS" or "XML."

Click the button and your Web browser typically goes to a page of XML code. Just copy the Web "address" or URL of that page of code and plug it into your feed reader. The software will then automatically retrieve and display the content contained in the XML.