Understanding RSS Feeds
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) provides a standard format that gives users a way to access content from blogs, podcasts, Web sites and any other resource that contains an RSS feed. RSS feeds allow publishers to publish content in one format that many applications know as RSS aggregators, feed readers, and news readers. Feeds also allow users to access their content in one place instead of schlepping from Web site to Web site to get the information.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. It gives publishers a standard format to deliver frequently updated content in an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) file. XML is a general markup language for sharing information across different platforms and applications.
Users copy the link pointing to the XML file into a feed reader or feed aggregator application. The feed reader presents the information in a readable format. Users who rely on feed readers can receive updated content from Web sites, blogs and other resources in one place.
Outlook 2007 is one such program that can accept and read RSS feeds. Though Outlook is more than an RSS reader, it offers the same features and functionality you find in a standard RSS reader. If it weren't for feed reader applications like Outlook, the RSS feeds would look garbled.
Many sites indicate they have a feed with a square orange RSS icon with radio waves.
Think of RSS feeds as another way for publishers to deliver content and for users to receive content. Web sites, e-mail messages and newsletters also deliver content. For example, you get your local news from your city's newspaper. You could get the content in print, on the newspaper's Web site, through a feed that you read in an application, through an audio feed that you listen to with an MP3 player, a video feed that you view on your computer or handheld that can handle video files, in an e-mail message, or in an e-mail newsletter.
Maybe you don't want to read all of the newspaper. You prefer the sports and business sections. Some Web sites make it possible to customize feeds so you get only the feeds you want or they offer multiple feeds. All you need is the URL address of the feed to begin using it.
For most feeds, you can click its link to get the URL from the browser's address bar.
Copy that URL and paste it in to any RSS feed reader or directly into Outlook. Most feed URLs end with an .xml extension, but some don't.
Note: Because of Outlook's synchronizing with Internet Explorer 7 feeds, the process can slow Outlook's performance. You can disable RSS Sync and remove all the feeds to improve performance.
To disable RSS Sync, do the following:
- Click Options from the Tools menu.
- Select the Other tab and click Advanced Options.
- Uncheck Sync RSS Feeds to the Common Feed List, and click OK.
- Click the Mail Setup tab and click Data Files.
- Click the RSS Feeds tab.
- Click the first feed.
- Press Shift and PgDn until all feeds appear highlighted.
- Click Remove and Click Yes to confirm deleting all the feeds.
You can also organize and manage your feeds with Outlook's folders so they don't get out of control.