Really Simple Syndication, or RSS

Journalist Mark Briggs writes in his "Journalism 2.0" book that Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, allows Internet users to use a search tool to find lots of the latest information on a given topic. RSS allows users to bypass a site's home page to find what they're looking for (just as they do when they use search engines or directories).

You can find your information by using stand-alone RSS readers, which launch software to access the info. Blogspace.com links to some readers here: http://blogspace.com/rss/readers.

You'll find an RSS tutorial here:

Briggs says some popular stand-alone readers are NetNewsWire, NewsGator, Pluck, FeedDemon and SharpReader.

You can also use readers already built into a Web browser or Web site, such as those on Google and yahoo! If you use yahoo! or Google, the browser will build a page that features the info you're searching for; it personalizes the page for you.

Go to google.com, and click on the downward arrow in the top navigation bar to get to "Reader," as in Google Reader. Sign in, using your google sign-in info.

To the right of the Subscription link on the left of the page, click on "Browse," to add or subtract news sites that you'd like the reader to search for you from pre-formed bundles.

Or go to a site that regularly publishes news you read, click on its RSS link to find specialty topics you'd like added to your reader, and then cut and paste the RSS URL into the reader. (For instance, the RSS URL for Dan Froomkin's column on washingtonpost.com is http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/rss/linkset/2005/04/24/LI2005042401085.xml. If I cut and paste that into the "Add Subscription" area of my google reader, I'll begin getting Froomkin's column as a "feed."

Click on the "Home" link on the Google Reader page, to display the info you asked the reader to search for.

Please be prepared to show me your Google Reader home page at the start of next week's class! This will count toward your class participation/blogging grade.

Welcome to the Blog!

Class, we'll be using this blog throughout the semester to chat about headlines, photos, blogs and other new-media topics.

Please feel free to start a discussion on subjects pertinent to class, as well as respond to questions I post.