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Bethel Libraries

Journalism Research Guide: Keeping Current

Features selected resources for journalists at BU



RSS- Really Simple Syndication OR Rich Site Summary

An application that allows users to "subscribe" to updates from certain websites. Instead of visiting sites regularly to check for new content, you can have the updates sent to you automatically as they appear on the site.


This application makes it easy to keep up to date in myriad arenas. Instead of visiting your favorite (or at least important) sites on a regular basis to check for changes, you can set up feeds to go to one place, where you can quickly scan for news and read only what looks really interesting or necessary. While some of these things can be sent to your email, many people hate to have this kind of clutter in their email Inboxes. What kinds of things can you monitor?

  • Professional sites
  • Stock quotes
  • Journal table of contents
  • News sites
  • Blogs 
  • Package tracking
  • Internet searches
  • eBay/Craigslist updates
  • Schedules or calendars
  • Podcasts


Find a feed reader, AKA aggregator. Some are desktop apps, others web-based. I use Google Reader:

  • Create an account
  • Look for buttons like these on a website you’d like to track:  Or sometimes, there’ll be a link simply labeled “RSS.” Look toward the bottom of a page. Some feed readers also give you a “subscribe” button to download that you can click on to find out if a site has feed and, if so, add it.
  • Click on the RSS button or link. Copy the URL that appears in the address window of the browser page that opens and paste it into your reader.

Let Social Media Work for You!

"Like" your go-to sources on Facebook, "follow" the never-miss columnists on Twitter, and subscribe to RSS feeds from the newspapers/mags you need to keep up with, and that important content is pushed to you, saving you time and trouble.