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Definition

RSS reader

 

An RSS reader, also called a feed reader, is a browser add-on program designed to gather and display RSS feeds according to user-definable parameters. An RSS reader can reduce the time and effort needed to check online publications for updates. It creates, in effect, a personalized news subscription for the Internet user.

A typical RSS reader gathers content in the background as you "surf" the Web. The program checks for RSS feeds at regular intervals and generates a pop-up when a new article or message of potential interest is available. The pop-up is the digital equivalent of a newspaper tossed at your doorstep. Instead of a generalized document arriving once a day, an RSS reader provides specific content as soon as it makes the news. When a pop-up appears, you can ignore it, read a summary or view the entire file.

RSS is a method of describing Web content for large-scale distribution to Internet users. In its most common context, the abbreviation stands for Really Simple Syndication.

This was last updated in June 2010

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