Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has become a very popular means of compiling content from multiple news and information sources for central consumption. RSS Aggregators are used to poll subscribed RSS feeds for updates in content. Changes since the last polling interval are then pushed out to the client.
For Microsoft Outlook 2007, RSS aggregation was added to the popular Personal Information Manager (PIM). RSS feeds can be retrieved by and read within the Outlook 2007 client.
New RSS feeds are added through the Outlook Account Settings. In Outlook 2007, navigate to Tools | Account Settings and select the RSS Feeds tab. In this tab you can see the list of subscriptions and their current feed status [See Figure 1]. To add a new RSS feed, you click on the New button which opens a window to enter or copy the RSS feed URL [See Figure 2]. In order to add an account this way, Outlook needs to be able to connect to the URL. Clicking OK, will prompt the RSS Feed Options window [See Figure 3]. RSS feeds can include attachments (or enclosures) but requires the option to be selected in the RSS Feed Options window.
RSS content resides by default in a special folder in Outlook [See Figure 4]. The RSS folder is visible in the Folder List and in the Mail Folder view, with the latter shown in Figure 4. Some RSS feeds provide a headline and a URL [See Figure 5] while others push out a full HTML page with the content. This is controlled at the host site where the RSS feed originates. Typically, the URL for the RSS Feed on a site is indicated by the current standard RSS icon [See Figure 6] which really replaced a little orange rectangle with “RSS" or “XML" in it. Browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox will also identify RSS feeds on a site.
There are many independent RSS Aggregator applications available; however, now you never have to leave your PIM to get the news and blog updates you need.