IT Services

Subscribing to RSS Feeds


RSS(Really Simple Syndication) is becoming a popular method to relay web site newsfeeds easily and quickly to a site. RSS is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Effectively it is a distributable "What's New" for a site.

Various groups of OUCS now use this format to send content to our web pages such as:

All of the OUCS RSS feeds are available to our users. It is possible to subscribe to a single OUCS RSS feed or to them all.

This document will outline how to subscribe to an RSS feed using an 'RSS aware' browser, Mozilla Firefox.

1. Subscribing to RSS feeds using Mozilla Firefox.

Mozilla Firefox is an excellent web browser which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. To download a suitable browser for your chosen platform, go to the Mozilla web site.

Firefox comes with a built-in RSS reader, which is suitable for most. RSS comes in many flavours, including RSS 0.9, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom. Mozilla Firefox supports them all. Alternatively, there are many RSS browser extensions available to download from the Mozilla web site if required. Firefox uses a technology called 'Live Bookmarks' that lets you view RSS news and blog headlines in the bookmarks toolbar or bookmarks menu. This enables you to see the latest headlines from any RSS enabled site and to go to the article in question simply by clicking on the headline.

There are two methods for creating a Live Bookmark.

Method 1
  • Method 1 is the easiest method to use. It can be used if you see the icon

    Figure images/rss-icon.gif [RSS icon in firefox]

    at the right end of the Location textbox or in the bottom right corner of the browser.
  • Clicking on the icon will reveal the names of the different feeds available on that page.

    Figure images/feedlist.png [List of available feeds]

  • Selecting an RSS feed will bring up the Add Bookmark dialog.

    Figure images/bookmarks.png [Add Bookmarks dialog box]

  • Select Add and a bookmark to the newsfeed will be included in your bookmarks.
Method 2
  • Method 2 can be used if you see

    Figure images/rss-orange.gif [RSS orange icon]


    Figure images/rss-blue.gif [RSS blue icon]

    on a web page.
  • Right click on the icon and select Copy Link Location. This will copy the URL of the link to the newsfeed to the clipboard.
  • From the Bookmarks menu, select Manage Bookmarks.
  • A new window entitled Bookmarks Manager will appear.
  • From its File menu, select New Live Bookmark.
  • A new window entitled Properties for New Live Bookmark will appear.
  • In the Name textbox, replace the text New Live Bookmark by some appropriate text indicating the topic of the newsfeed.
  • Click in the textbox and press Ctrl/V so that the URL is pasted into the textbox.
  • The Description can be left empty.
  • Select OK and a bookmark to the newsfeed will be included in your bookmarks.
  • Close the Bookmarks Manager window.
Many people find it especially convenient to save Live Bookmarks in their Bookmarks Toolbar folder found inside the bookmarks listing.

Figure images/toolbarlist.png [RSS icon on browser toolbar]

2. Subscribing to RSS feeds using Thunderbird email client

RSS feeds can be viewed in an 'RSS aware' email programme such as Mozilla Thunderbird. This client is available for a number of different platforms; Windows, Mac and Linux.

Setting up Thunderbird

Viewing your feeds

Deleting unwanted feeds