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Ames Public Library News Feeds

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  1. What is a news feed?
  2. How do I subscribe to Ames Library news feeds?
  3. What is a news reader?
  4. Should I use a news reader?
  5. What does RSS mean?

What is a news feed?

A news feed (also known as an RSS feed) is a listing of a website's content. It is updated whenever new content is published to the site. News readers "subscribe" to news feeds, which means they download lists of stories at an interval that you specify (every 30 minutes, for example), and present them to you in your news reader.

 

A news feed might contain a list of story headlines, a list of excerpts from the stories, or a list containing each story from the website. All news feeds will have a link back to the website, so if you see a headline / excerpt / story you like, you can click on the link for that piece of content and will be taken to the website to read it.

How do I subscribe to Ames Library news feeds?

Step one is to download your favorite news reader. If you have never used one before, check out the "What is a news reader?" and "Should I use a news reader?" sections below.


Once you have a news reader, point it to the following address:

What is a news reader?

A news reader (also known as a news aggregator) is simply a piece of software that you can use to read your subscribed news feeds. It is to news feeds what Outlook, Hotmail, and Entourage are to email.

Should I use a news reader?

The short answer: it depends.


The longer answer: if you visit a lot of websites on daily basis, or read a lot of weblogs (or "blogs"), a news reader can save you a lot of time. Sites like ABCNews.com, Salon, and the New York Times all have syndicated feeds.
Using a news reader to consume your web media means that you only need to visit a website when you read a story in your news reader that is of interest to you. You won't have to visit your favorite sites to see if there are updates; your news reader will do that for you and will let you know when there is a new story to be read!

 

So if you visit a lot of websites regularly, or want to be alerted automatically when your websites published a new story, using a news reader might make sense.

 

Some commonly used news readers are Feed Demon, Sharp Reader (free), and NewsGator (a free Outlook plugin) for Windows; NetNewsWire and Shrook (free) for Macs; and Bloglines.com (free) for those who like web-based readers.

What does RSS mean?

Depending on whom you ask, the acronym RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication", "Rich Site Summary", or any of a handful of others.

The meaning of the acronym is not terribly important, however. An RSS feed (also known as a news feed) is a site's syndicated news feed that you subscribe to using your news reader.