Finding USAO News Easier With RSS Feed

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Published: 
December-05-2008

 

In a continuing effort to make USAO news stories and upcoming events easier to find and read, the USAO Office of Media and Community Relations has added an RSS feed to the USAO website.



RSS stands for Rich Site Summary or “Really Simple Syndication” and is a format for delivering web content from news-related sites, weblogs, entertainment and video sites. An RSS feed retrieves the latest content from websites and delivers that information to an individual’s RSS reader.



“The advantage of an RSS feed is that you don’t have to visit our website everytime you want an update on the news at USAO. You can simply setup a feed on your home page, e-mail software, your screensaver or anywhere else RSS readers are available. The news comes to you instead of you searching for it,” said Cody Dracars, web developer at USAO.



“In emergency situations, the news would be on your screen the moment we posted it on the web. It is exciting technology that brings our online information to a new level,” Dracars said. “The number of sites offering RSS feeds is growing rapidly and includes Yahoo News, E-Bay and many local and state newspapers.”



“Our current RSS setup features news stories from the news page as well as the front page on our website. Our goal is to add RSS feeds for sports, alumni and other areas of interest from the web page, said Randy Talley, director of media and community relations. “Some computers, like mine, have an RSS reader in their screen saver. This means that USAO news populates my screen everytime my computer ‘sleeps.’”



Dracars said, “We’ve tested the system on Macintosh screen savers, Microsoft Office RSS readers, Mozilla Thunderbird RSS readers, as well as the RSS reader at Google. We are also linked to other websites that read RSS. Although we don’t have a button to access the feed, most browsers will have an icon that appears on the right side of the address bar when they go to the USAO webpage. Users can click on this link to go to the sign-up page or they can paste our address in their RSS feeder. By using the RSS feed, you will see all the news updates when they happen and keep informed of events and activities at USAO.”



The address for the USAO RSS feed is /RSS/rss.php. The USAO webpage is at usao.edu.



A variety of RSS readers are available for different platforms. Some popular feed readers include Amphetadesk, FeedReader and NewsGater. There are also a number of web-based feed readers available that include My Yahoo, Bloglines and Google Reader.



Once a feed reader is installed or set up online, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the reader. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML or RFD if a reader is available.



Questions should be directed to media@usao.edu.