What is RSS?

Rich Site Summary (RSS) is a data format for content distribution. RSS news feeds give an overview about changed contents on a website by displaying the headlines of new articles together with links back to the website. This information is provided in so-called XML files which you can subscribe to using freely available news reader software.

ESI offers several RSS feeds for use in news readers. These feeds include headlines and links back to the ESI website for the full article. RSS feeds are free and ESI currently uses RSS 0.91.

How can I access RSS news feeds?

News readers let you decide which feeds you want to subscribe to and notify you once new entries have been added to the feed. If a new article interests you, simply click its headline to open it in your browser.

A news reader displays RSS feeds from the websites you select, enabling you to view hundreds of headlines at once. After installing the news reader, you can add each feed manually by clicking on the orange button next to the feed.

After you click on the button, you usually have to copy and paste the address of the feed into the reader software. Some reader programs can grab feeds automatically. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the address of the feed directly from the list below.

  •  news
  •  latest reports
  •  latest web pages
  •  ESI@Twitter

I can only see odd source code!

XML files are not meant to be viewed in a browser but to be fed into a news reader.

Which news reader should I choose?

There are numerous news readers available. See the about RSS listing for example. You can also choose one of the readers below.

The Mozilla Firefox and Opera browsers can access RSS feeds directly as so-called "dynamic bookmarks". Just click on the RSS icon in your browser's address bar and follow the instructions.

This sounds really fascinating, although I do not understand what it is all about

Take a look at this screenshot. It shows Desktop Sidebar displaying an ESI news feed. In this example (not on the screenshot itself), all headlines are clickable and link back to the ESI website.

Where can I learn more about RSS?

For more information about RSS and descriptions of various news readers, please read the excellent New York Times article "Fine-Tuning Your Filter for Online Information". If you are also interested in technical details, Wikipedia's encyclopaedia article on RSS is right for you.