RSS feeds and how to use them

Subscribe for timely content updates

An RSS feed (“Really Simple Syndication”) is a stream of data that gets updated every time something new is added to the webpage(s) it tracks. For example, a blog’s feed will contain all newly published articles.

The usefulness of this tool is that it allows specialised applications—RSS readers—to automatically check multiple websites for updates, based on the list of RSS subscriptions. The user gets all new information in a centralised place—the RSS reader application—rather than manually visiting every single website.

To subscribe, the user will typically have to copy the RSS feed’s link into their RSS reader’s appropriate place. Most applications/services make this straightforward. Note that “subscribe” is just a standard copy-paste of a link. You do not share private information with the website that provides the RSS feed.

Pro tip: RSS is best suited for following websites that do not post updates very often, like personal blogs. Never miss the occasional publication. Conversely, RSS is not ideal for tracking high frequency sites, such as news outlets. The sheer volume of publications will quickly become overwhelming. Keep the list of RSS subscriptions limited to the type of content you do not want to miss.

RSS feeds on protesilaos.com

I am not on social media, so RSS is the only way you will get news from me. There are three types of regular updates on this website. Each has its own feed, as it caters to a different audience.

I also maintain a special feed for news and announcements, where I post notifications about new books or other types of content that does not fit in the above.