PolyCentric, the university's electronic magazine published by the Office of Public Affairs, has added a feature that allows readers to create a customized RSS feed. For Web surfers, the advantages of RSS are simple: They save time and bandwidth. Instead of remembering to visit PolyCentric, the news comes directly into your computer daily or at whatever interval you want. What's more, most RSS feeds contain just links, headlines or brief synopsis of new information only. That means the small amount of Web data can be sent to any device with the proper software — a cell phone, pager, or handheld computer — without a lengthy download process. More importantly, RSS gives you control over receiving information you want.
RSS stands for either “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication.” RSS is a popular new way to publish information online using a special Web coding, called XML.
RSS constitutes a new type of Web information called a “news feed.” The feeds from PolyCentric will contain a summary, photographs and links to new articles and announcements on PolyCentric. Anyone an online surfer or another Web site can pick up the news feed and with the appropriate software display the information automatically through a chosen feed reader.
The concept is similar to how a newswire service operates: Information published by one news organization can be “syndicated” — picked up and displayed by any other news organization.
Access to the news feed is supplied on the PolyCentric Web site. Visitors with appropriate software can “subscribe” to the feed and automatically receive updates on their personal computers of new content on the site.
To use the RSS feature, users must first obtain a computer program called a feed reader. Once a feed reader has been obtained, click on the small orange box labeled XML that has been added to the bottom right side of the PolyCentric Web site. This XML link will take the user to http://polycentric.cpp.edu/rss.asp. This page will allow the reader to customize the RSS feed. A customized Web address will then appear at the bottom of the page. Copy this address or URL and plug it into your feed reader. The software will then automatically retrieve and display PolyCentrics latest information.
For more information on obtaining a feed reader and other information regarding RSS feeds, visit www.cpp.edu/~ehelp/rss/.