RSS News Feeds

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What is RSS?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. RSS uses news feeds to allow you to see when websites have added new content. The LondonAir website now provides feeds for our pollution measurements and news items. These feeds are designed to allow you to monitor new content without having to visit the website.

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How do I use news feeds?

There are many ways of using new feeds, each of which has different advantages.

You can use a web page service, where you create an account on a special website and then tell it which news feeds you are interested in. You might want to do this if you don't want to install software on your computer.

Many of the most recent browsers (e.g. Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer 7) include a basic method of dealing with them. Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, usually through the bookmarks or favourites menu.

One of the most popular solutions is to use a news reader. The news reader is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new items that have been added. Downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.

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How do I use news readers?

Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want it to receive. For example, if you would like the latest LAQN news stories, simply visit the News section and you will notice an orange button like the one below. If you click on the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader.

RSS button RSS button

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How do I get a news reader?

There is a range of different news readers available and new versions are appearing all the time. Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer.

Web Page Service

WindowsLive
MyYahoo
Bloglines

Browser

Internet Explorer 7
Mozilla Firefox
Other News Readers (GOOGLE)

Reader - Windows

Newz Crawler
FeedDemon
Awasu

Reader - Mac OSX

Newsfire
NetNewsWire

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I can't install any software!

You might not be able install any software on your computer, perhaps because you work in a corporate environment. In this case you can use a web page service to access RSS News Feeds. To do this, you need to choose a news reader service website (see above for some examples), and then register on the site. You can then use an ordinary browser to access you chosen reader web site to see all of your news feeds and to add new ones.

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Configuring your news reader

Most site readings are collected every hour, so it is worth setting up your news reader so it updates LAQN data feeds every hour. Also, LAQN data articles almost never expire, as the data is constantly updated. This means you should set up your news reader so LAQN data articles are not deleted. Exact instructions for this will vary depending on your chosen RSS reader.

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Further Information

BBC RSS Help
Fagan Finder RSS Help

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