How do I use the SkyandTelescope.com RSS News Feed?
RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is an XML-based Web content syndication format used to deliver constantly updated headline feeds to readers. It’s an easy way for you to be alerted when content that interests you appears on SkyandTelescope.com. XML news feeds are documents that are served up on the Web or to a client program on your desktop. Each SkyandTelescope.com entry will show up as an individual news feed item, and you can select the items to read the full entries on the Web. We currently use RSS 2.0.
To access RSS feeds, you need to use a news reader or news aggregator (for example MyYahoo). The next step is to click the feeds to which you want to subscribe. If you have not already set up a free account with the feed type of your choice, it will prompt you to do so. After setting up your account, you will be instructed on how to use that particular aggregator. Going forward, every time you see an RSS link on the site, you can click on it to subscribe to that specific feed. And if you download and install a news reader application, you can simply copy the feed URLs to subscribe to the feed.
Of the many tools that are available, here are some of SkyandTelescope.com’s favorites:
On the Web
These are some of the top Web-based news readers that we are aware of. While the sites offer thousands of different news sources, users may be limited by what the services currently include.
AmphetaDesk is a hybrid news aggregator. While there's a small application you run on your desktop (works with PCs and Macs), feeds are actually read on a customized Web page. AmphetaDesk's easy "Add a Channel" feature makes it one of the more flexible Web news readers.
NewsIsFree collects headlines from almost 7,000 sources and allows users to browse and organize feeds online.
Syndic8 is a a clearing house for RSS feeds, as well as for efforts to get sites to use RSS.
Desktop Applications and Browser Plug-Ins
Below are a few of the top news reader applications that we are aware of. For the most part, these client programs are more flexible than their Web-based counterparts.
Nick Bradbury's FeedDemon pledges to "make RSS as easy to access as your e-mail.
NetNewsWire was designed for use in Mac OS X. Slightly similar in layout to Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook, the application is an easy-to-use news reader that's extremely flexible. While the main, more robust program costs $39.95, there is also a NetNewsWireLite freeware version available.
NewsWatcher was designed for Windows and includes some interesting features. Beyond its constant monitoring and instant delivery, the tool also offers a streaming time-based view, as well as a way to instantly blog articles you come across. Scopeware also offers a directory of RSS feeds.
NewzCrawler bills itself as a Web news aggregator, reader, browser, and blog client. Compatible with most PCs, the $24.95 program features a Microsoft Outlook-like user interface and allows users to access feeds in various formats, including a news ticker.
NewsMonster is a browser plugin that works with Mozilla and Netscape on PCs and Macs. The news, RSS, and blog aggregator runs in your browser. Users can even cache feeds for reading while offline.
Pluck is an Internet Explorer plug-in that works in Windows. In addition to its news aggregation functionality, Pluck also offers some enhanced search capabilities, including an email-like search results browser and an eBay and Amazon price comparison tool.