RSS Readers

RSS is short for:

RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs.

Pretty much anything that can be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS:

Once information about each item is in RSS format, an RSS-aware program can check the feed for changes and react to the changes in an appropriate way.

RSS-aware programs called news aggregators are popular in the weblogging community. Many weblogs make content available in RSS.

News Aggregation

News aggregators collect news, weblog and other feeds over the web and Aggregate them so the news items are readable from a single place, regardless of their source.

To find feeds to subscribe to, look for a white on orange XML (or RSS) icon RSS GIF icon on web sites. You could also use a centralized syndication service, such as

Accessing RSS with Firefox/Mozilla

Live Bookmarks

To access the Live Bookmarks feature go to:
Bookmarks->Manage Bookmarks.
In the Manage Bookmarks window go to
File->New Live Bookmark.
Here you can enter/edit the content.

A short cut to this is a "Live Bookmark Icon" in the "tray" of the browser window (on my systems it looks like a simple thunderbolt (like a "Z") in a yellow box. If there is a RSS feed for the website displayed the Icon will be active and clicking it will automagicly add the Live Bookmark. The RSS feed will then appear in your bookmark menu (ususally as a sub-menu).


It opens a sidebar in the browser window that you can drag and drop bookmarks into as well as giving some fine grained control on accesssing, editing, and refreshing the RSS feeds. Go to
and click on "Get More Extensions" to install.

To add a site click on the magnifying glass.


Another extension. Displays a scrolling headline in the tray.

Some RSS enabled sites

Stand Alone Readers

Mac OS X:

NetNewsWire 30 day free demo - $25 to buy.
This elegant Mac-like aggregator is easy to use and powerful.


SharpReader Simple, but gets the job done.
FeedDemon A more complicated aggregator for Windows. (Win)


Straw The best aggregator for GNOME.
Akregator Included w/ Knoppix


Bloglines Check all your feeds from any web browser.
AmphetaDesk A news aggregator you access through a web browser. (Mac/Win/Linux)


Radio UserLand A full-stregth news-reading application, on your desktop. $40 w/ 30 dayfree trial (Mac/Win)
rss2email Reads RSS feeds and sends each new item to you as an email. (Unix)

Added this link to main page (in navigation bar at top of page):

<a href="mlcug_rss.xml"> RSS </a>
Also added this bit of code the the <header> section of the page:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Mlcug RSS"
This insured the page would be found by the Smart Bookmark feature in Mozilla/Firfox? (Found this tidbit somewhere on the net.)

Then added the file mlcug_rss.xml to the site.

Content for the RSS feed includes the meeting announcements and the recordings. As a result the xml file is fairly simple. An open source program called ListGarden (Linux, Mac, and Windows) is used to edit and update the xml file.

Meeting Recordings

After some experimenting w/ a small server in my office John M. offered to host the recordings on server space he has with Comcast.

After the recordings are processed for download he puts them on the Comcast server and tells me what the URLs (links) are. I then add that info the the main web page (format to change after we have a few more recordings). Then I fire up ListGarden and add the entries to the xml file so they show up in an RSS Reader.

What else?