How to use RSS

RSS symbol; Image: Edward Grajeda/iStockWhat is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Feeds are easily identified by the distinctive icon orange icon of a dot with two curved lines (displayed at right). By subscribing to an RSS feed you can get alerts when new content is added to the Scottish Parliament's website without having to visit the website and browse for updates. RSS updates can be particularly useful if you're interested in a specific subject area.

Getting started

The first thing you need is a "news reader". This is a piece of software which checks the feeds you've selected and lets you know if any new content has been added. The reader will display a headline (linking to the article) and an abstract giving a flavour of the article content.

There are lots of different versions of news readers available, many of which are free. An online search including the term "RSS reader" and details of whether you are using a Mac or PC should give you a range of suitable options.

The main choice is between news readers which are accessed using a web browser and those which are applications downloaded to your computer. Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer. Your choice of reader will depend on how and where you plan to access your news feeds.

Some browsers, such as Firefox, Safari and some versions of Internet Explorer, automatically check for feeds when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to feeds much easier.

How do I add the feed to my news reader?

You can either drag the RSS icon into your news reader or click on the link to open the RSS feed then copy and paste the web address into the reader.

What RSS feeds can I subscribe to at the Scottish Parliament?

A complete list is available on the Parliament's RSS Feeds page. 

If you would like to send us feedback on the service, or suggest RSS feeds you would be interested in subscribing to, please email [email protected].