RSS works in your computer's background to automatically deliver new content from your favorite websites directly to you. You don't have to spend time searching websites to see whether content has been updated.

Still confused? Think of RSS as something like a magazine subscription: Instead of having to go to the newsstand to check whether the new issue of your favorite magazine is available, you simply subscribe to the magazine and it's delivered to your doorstep when a new issue is published. RSS works in the same way--the difference is that new content is delivered to your desktop, not your doorstep.

How Do I Use RSS?

Using RSS is simple, but you must use an RSS reader (sometimes called news aggregator or news reader) to bring you updates. There are two types of readers:

  • A web-based RSS reader, which you don't need to download. It lets you access RSS feeds from any computer when you're connected to the Internet.
  • A desktop RSS reader, which is an application, usually free, that you download. It resides on your computer and automatically streams new content to your hard drive, giving you access to your updates even when you're not connected to the Internet.

Some examples of free and popular RSS readers include:

Desktop

Web-Based

To subscribe to an RSS feed, click the RSS or XML button on the site you want to subscribe to or add the site's URL to your RSS reader, depending on the type of reader you're using.

Learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's RSS newsfeeds and podcasts.

last updated on Friday, February 25, 2011
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