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Georgia State University

FAQ – What Does The Orange XML Button Do?

What does xml button mean?
An XML file (often called a web feed or RSS feed) has been created and that the content of the site has been “syndicated” or repackaged for use in an RSS Reader. Other web sites that offer feeds may use links labeled “RSS feeds,” rss button, or “Syndicate this site” instead. There’s also another type of feed called “Atom,” but the concept is the same. 

Web feeds for all Georgia State University Library blogs are listed on the main news blog page.

What can I do with the feeds?
RSS readers (sometimes called aggregators) are software applications which allow you to read blogs and web sites that you select through a single application, effectively letting you create your own personal newspaper. Reader applications can make your Web reading and news gathering activities more efficient because you don’t have to surf the web to check the sites one at a time for updated content.

With the reader, you select (or “subscribe”) to the feeds for the sites you would normally surf to on the web and read. As the web sites are updated, so are the corresponding feeds, and the readers are checking those feeds for the updates. If there has been an update, the feed name shows up bold in some readers, usually with a number to indicate the number of new entries or articles that have been posted since the reader last checked the feed.

Bloglines, a free, Web-based reader, is currently our reader-of-choice. There are also a number of desktop-based applications that can be downloaded at little or no cost. A list of these can be found at the Weblogs Compendium.

How are other organizations using RSS?

Where to find feeds: RSS Compendium, Weblogs Compendium, NewsIsFree and Syndic8.

  • News – Feeds are available from the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR and Yahoo! News.
  • Journal Alerts – Some journal publishers have set up feeds that you can add to your readers as a way to keep up with new articles and issues as they become available (an alternative to e-mail TOC alerts).
  • Search alerts – HubMed and my.PubMed, alternative PubMed portals, let you create RSS feeds for MEDLINE searches. An RSS feed is generated automatically with each search, which you can copy/paste to your reader. As new records matching your search criteria are added in PubMed, you’ll see them in the aggregator.
  • Where can I read more about RSS?

    Blog FAQ’s created by Doug Goans ( and Teri Vogel (

    *Author ID: 31 Author name: Doug*