What are Feeds? Where do You Find 'em?

RSS feeds come in lots of formats, and ways you find them on web sites. It starts out confusing because they are typically direct links to the XML formatted file, and if you actually click the link, what you see looks like gobbledy gook.

There is quite a bit of things to learn about RSS; see our article "Pssss. Have You Heard About RSS?"

But where do you find them? Most Weblogs have built in RSS feeds that are created automatically. Major news web sites publish summaries of their news as RSS. You can find your local weather forecast as RSS. There is much more to RSS and this site has no intent of being an RSS newbies tutorial-- see our RSS resources or some of the other introductions to RSS you can find via Google.

The key for finding the feeds is to look for the icons that identify the RSS feeds, and rather than following the link, right mouse click (Windows users) or control-click (Mac users) to access the menu that allows you to Copy the URL for the RSS feed. Sometimes they will be listed in an area called "Syndication".

examples of icons that identify RSS feeds.

But if you do click and see the ugly XML code, do not worry! Just copy the web address from your browser's URL field- that is all you need. It will look like any other web address, except the last part may end in ".xml", ".rss", ".rdf", ".atom", or even other strange names.

Once you have saved the address for a feed, we highly recommend that you verify that the feed is "valid"-- the file structure is very important. You can be more assured it will work by testing a new feed with the Feed Validator.

Once you have the web address (URL) for an RSS feed, and have validated it, you are ready to build your display code to actually use it (continue on...).

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Brian Teller
is keeping Feed2JS alive, thanks Brian (applause)

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