RSS News Help


What is RSS?


RSS is an acronym for Rich Site Summary, or Real Simple Syndication. It is a file format that is gaining popularity for distributing basic information about recent news items. RSS files are written in a language called XML.


What is in an RSS News Feed?


Usually, a RSS News Feed contains news headlines, a summary of a news item, and a link to more information.


When I click on an RSS News Feed link I see a bunch of code—not the news.


RSS News Feeds are not "human readable"—they are designed to be processed and displayed to you by a news aggregator program.


Tell me more about news aggregators?


Using a news aggregator program, you subscribe to news feeds. Like with an E-mail program, the aggregator automatically and regularly checks feeds to which you've subscribed. When the news changes, and when the aggregator checks to see if new news is posted, the aggregator retrieves the new news and alerts you that new news is available. For example, if you subscribe to the State of Delaware's Statewide News Feed with your aggregator, your aggregator will check our news feed regularly and pull down new news if we've posted news since the aggregator last visited our site.


Where can I download a news aggregator so I can subscribe to the State's News Feeds?


There are many news aggregators available for most types of personal computers. Many are free. To learn more about RSS and also see a lists of RSS news aggregators you can download, please visit these sites:
- Directory of RSS resources at Yahoo!
- RSS Quickstart Guide at Lockergnome
- RSS in Government


How do I subscribe to an RSS News Feed?


To subscribe to an RSS News Feed you must: (1) download and install an aggregator and (2) tell the aggregator which News Feed you want to add, which is usually done by copying the Feed's Internet address into the news aggregator.


How do I know when an RSS News Feed is available?


RSS news feeds are often marked with an icon similar to this:

These icons identify the XML file that must be loaded into the news aggregator to receive notification of new headlines. For example, to subscribe to a news feed, you could: (1) right-click the RSS or XML icon, (2) select "Copy Link to Clipboard", (3) switch to your aggregator, and (4) paste the link into the aggregator's "Add a new feed" or "Subscribe to" area.


What kind of RSS does the State of Delaware use?


The Delaware.gov portal uses the most recent RSS 2.0 format to notify subscribers of news items that have been posted on any Delaware state agency web site. The portal Newsroom feeds include the date, title, summary and a link to the full news article.


Did You Know?


USS Delaware

The United States battleship USS Delaware was commissioned in 1910.


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