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Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Thursday, 10 February 2011

RSS Feed (Really Simple Syndication)



What is RSS?

In a world heaving under the weight of billions of web pages, keeping up to date with the information you want can be a drag.

Wouldn't it be better to have the latest news and features delivered directly to you, rather than clicking from site to site?

Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows you to see when sites from all over the internet have added new content. You can get the latest headlines and articles (or even audio files, photographs or video) in one place, as soon as they are published, without having to remember to visit each site every day.

RSS takes the hassle out of staying up-to-date, by showing you the very latest information that you are interested in.

RSS feeds are just a special kind of web page, designed to be read by computers rather than people. It might help to think of them as the free, internet version of the old-fashioned ticker-tape news wire machines.

Not all websites currently provide RSS, but it is growing rapidly in popularity and many others, including the Guardian, New York Times and CNN provide it.

How do I start using RSS feeds?

In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks RSS feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added to them. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.

Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want to receive in your news reader, by finding and subscribing to the relevant RSS feeds. For example, if you would like the latest BBC Sport Football stories, simply visit the Football section and you will notice an orange RSS button on the left hand side.


If you click on the button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the RSS feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader.

You can subscribe to feeds of our best video and audio content in the same way and will find a selection available in our Video and Audio index.

Most sites that offer RSS feeds use a similar orange RSS button, but some may just have a normal web link to the feed.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, automatically check for RSS feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to RSS feeds much easier. For more details on these, please check their websites.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

How do I get a news reader?

There is a range of different news readers available and new versions are appearing all the time.

Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer.

Using BBC Sport RSS feeds on your site

If you run your own website, you can use RSS feeds to display the latest headlines from other sites on your site.

We encourage the use of BBC Sport RSS feeds as part of a website, subject to our Terms of Use.

However, we do require that the proper format and attribution is used when BBC Sport content appears. The attribution text should read "BBC Sport" or "From BBC Sport" as appropriate. You may not use any BBC logo or other BBC trademark.

We reserve the right to prevent the distribution of BBC Sport content. Please read our Terms of Use for further instructions.

The BBC does not accept any liability for its RSS feeds. Please see the Terms of Use for full details.

Feeds from other BBC websites

For information on BBC News RSS feeds, please click here.

There are also various other feeds from other BBC websites. You can subscribe to these in exactly the same described above. They may also be used on your website, subject to our Terms of Use.

XML RSS feedAlbum Reviews
XML RSS feedBackstage
XML RSS feedDoctor Who News
XML RSS feedComedy
XML RSS feedRadio 1 News

And don't just be guided by the feeds we offer through our many indexes - you can create your own specific RSS feed by entering a specific term in our search engine.


If you want to know everything we publish from the world of Wayne Rooney, simply enter the search term "Wayne Rooney" then click on the News and Sport results tab and follow the RSS link which appears at the top of the search results list.

I want a headline box

If you would prefer to sign up for a BBC Sport headline box, then please visit:

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see also
The really simple future of the web
20 Feb 04 |  Magazine
Turning the web into 'sushi belts'
11 Apr 05 |  Technology

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The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites