About RSS

RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is an easy way to keep up with your favorite news and information. An RSS feed contains headlines, summaries and links to full news stories on www.bnl.gov. If you click an RSS link, you will see XML (or eXtensible Markup Language) code in your browser. This is to be expected, since you do not view RSS content through a browser. You view the headlines through an RSS news reader (also called an RSS aggregator).

What are RSS Readers?

RSS news readers are small software programs that aggregate RSS feeds and display the story information. They allow you to scan headlines from hundreds of news sources in a central location.

How Do I Use These Feeds?

The first step, as described below, is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed (also called a "channel"). In most cases, here's how it works:

1. Click on the small XML button near the channel you want (BNL News Stories, for example). You'll see a page displaying XML code.

2. From your browser, copy the URL that appears in your Address Bar. For example, the URL you would copy for BNL News Stories is:


3. Paste that URL into the 'Add New Channel' section of the reader. You should be all set! The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.

Valid RSS  The BNL news feed is valid RSS.

Where Do I Get an RSS Reader?

A wide range of RSS readers can be easily downloaded from the Web. Some readers are Web-based while others require you to download a small software program onto your desktop. Most are free to use. (Several readers require Microsoft's .NET framework on your computer. They may be slightly more complicated to install if you do not have .NET.)

Google and Yahoo! both offer comprehensive lists of RSS readers. A few sample readers are also offered below for the purpose of evaluation:

Where Can I Learn More about RSS?

There are a range of articles about RSS available online. The Lockergnome Web site offers a beginner's tutorial; extended RSS resources are available from Radio Userland. Here are a few additional resources: