RSS are used by publishers as a way of sharing content automatically. A standardized XML file publishes the information in a way that can be understood and viewed by many different applications and programmes. They are of great use to people who want to subscribe to regular updates from webistes and / or want to aggregate more than one feed in a single place. Digimind agents will automatically detect if there is an RSS feed on a page for you and will then use this format collect alerts that correspond to your query.
The advantage of knowing if there is an RSS feed on a page
If I can see there is a feed on a homepage of a website for example, I can save time. I won't need to look for the page on which I will subscribe to the feed.
Althernatively I may not want to subscribe to the RSS feed, I may only want to track other information on this site, using for example area tracker (for more information, follow this link).
How to see if there is an RSS feed on a page using Firefox
By modifying the "view" options in Firefox I can activate the RSS symbol:
In the example above, I can see the RSS symbol is darkened, telling me there is an RSS feed on this page.
However, in this example, there is no RSS feed for this page:
Modify viewing options for Firefox
Inside Firefox, click on view, then toolbars and then on customize:
This will open a page on which you will be able to select different viewing options.
Find the RSS icon and drag it to your toolbar: