RSS FAQ

Last updated: August 17, 2011
RSS FAQ

We've developed dozens of general and specialized news feeds (RSS format) so you can get ITworld headlines on your website or desktop. This FAQ will help you get started.

Q: Where do I sign up?

Head to www.itworld.com/rss for the full list.

Q: What is RSS?

RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts. An RSS document (which is called a "feed" or "web feed" or "channel") contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays. Learn more.

Q: What format do your feeds use?

RSS, which is a flavor of XML specifically designed for the syndication of Web content.

Q: Do I need permission to put one of your feeds on our Web site?

Any site with a genuine interest in information technology issues is welcome to use our feeds. They shouldn't be altered to remove any information (including the source and our logo). While not required, please drop us an e-mail at support@itworld.com and let us know you're using one. We reserve the right to request that a site remove a feed if we feel it is being used inappropriately.

Q: How do I put one of your feeds on my Web site?

You'll need software to process and parse the data so it displays properly within a Web browser (without it, all your users will see is raw XML.)

Unfortunately we are unable to offer technical assistance on processing XML. However, there are a number of Web sites with details on working with RSS files as well as links to tools, including O'Reilly Network's RSS Development Center, Blogspace's RSS Info page and Internet.com's WebReference.

Google provides an extension that auto-detects RSS feeds on the page you are reading and upon finding one will display an RSS icon in the address bar, allowing you to click on it to preview the feed content and subscribe. The extension comes with 4 feed readers predefined (Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines and My Yahoo) but also allows you to add any web-based feed reader of your choice to the list.

Q: How do I put an RSS feed on my desktop?

There are numerous RSS-reading desktop applications available, including Feedreader, Headline Viewer and Net Newswire (Mac OS X).

There are links to a bunch more on the Open Directory Project site. You'll need to download and install one of those applications on your system, then subscribe to the channel you want.

Q: What elements are included in your feeds?

Typically headlines, summaries and links back to full stories.

Q: I'd like a customized feed not available on your list.

It's unlikely we'll be able to customize our feeds for individuals or small sites. However, if you're a large site likely to drive substantial traffic our way, let's talk! You can send e-mail to support@itworld.com.

Q: What does RSS stand for?

We've seen the acronym variously described as Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication, among other descriptions. However, the World Wide Web Consortium -- the definitive source for Web standards -- says it's RDF Site Summary (RDF stands for Resource Description Framework).

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