RSS News Feeds and Podcasting
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, an easy way to keep up with news and information, which avoids the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on websites. Content is delivered directly to your RSS reader in what is called a "feed."
Click on one of the links below for a list of RSS feeds currently available:
What Is RSS?
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a Web content syndication protocol, an application of XML, which provides an open method of syndicating and aggregating Web content. It is most commonly used to update news articles and other content that changes quickly. RSS feeds may also include audio files (Podcasts) or even video files (Vodcasts).
RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and stored in .rss, .asp or .xml format files.
What Is an RSS Reader?
An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location.
Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?
Some browsers, such as the current versions of Firefox and Safari have built in RSS readers. If you're using a browser that doesn't currently support RSS (such as Internet Explorer), there are a variety of RSS readers available on the web; some are free to download and others are available for purchase.
How Do I Use RSS Feeds?
The first step is to choose an RSS reader and install it on your computer, unless your browser already supports RSS. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a "channel." Follow the specific directions for your reader but, generally, here's how it works:
- Using your browser, click on the designated link or small RSS/XML button near the feed you want. For example, Department of Planning and Development RSS Feeds Public Notices All Areas. You'll see a page displaying XML code. (Note: Some browsers won't display the XML code; this does not matter. Just continue with these instructions.)
- From your browser's address bar, copy the URL (web address). For example, the URL you would copy for Department of Planning and Development RSS Feeds Public Notices All Areas is: http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/LUIB/RSS.aspx.
- Paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.
You must have a computer, podcasting software and high-speed Internet connection. An iPod or MP3 player is also needed to make your podcast mobile.
First you must download and install podcasting software on your computer (PC or Mac). Then you subscribe to the podcast feed. Every software application is different so follow the directions to "add" a podcast feed (sometimes as simple as pasting the podcast URL into your podcasting software application). When you "Check for New Podcasts," a copy of the podcast will be loaded to your computer and/or MP3 player.
Note that for video, the episode should play on your computer (using Quicktime, iTunes, etc.) but will only play on certain portable players (video iPod, zune, etc.) and mobile phones (the video is in mp4 format). Please check with the manufacturer of your device.
You will need to install a podcasting application which allows you to download and access podcasts. Many software applications are available and some options are listed below.
For more news and info about podcasting, try this website: