Cultivating vital communities, vital conversations, and the public good.
RSS is an easy way to stay informed of regularly updated web content.
The latest headlines from your favorite sites
are delivered directly to your computer or personal reader.
You save time by not needing to visit each site individually
and you avoid missing an important update.
The first step is to choose an RSS reader.
An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS
headlines from a number of sources in a central location.
Some browsers, such as the current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari
have built in RSS readers.
There are also a number of web-based feed readers available.
are popular web-based feed readers.
Microsoft Office 7.0+ has a built-in RSS reader.
And, there are a variety of free and low-cost readers available for download
off the web. Just google "RSS readers" and look around.
Once you have an RSS reader setup, you add an RSS feed for each
news source you want the reader to check for you.
To add a feed, click the RSS or XML icon near the subscription you want,
then follow the instructions from your reader.
Or, copy the URL of the feed (highlighed in yellow below) and paste it
into the "Add New Channel" section of your reader.
Once the RSS feed is added to your reader, the headlines from the new feed will
start to display and be regularly updated for you.
If you're a visual learner, watch this 4 minute video from CommonCraft:
RSS In Plain English.
A podcast is like an on-demand radio show that you subscribe to. Each new episode is
automatically sent to subscribers for playback whenever and wherever they choose.
Subscribers can listen to their podcast episodes (typically mp3 audio files) through their computers
or transfer them to a portable audio player like an iPod.
Some versions of podcasting incorporate a video signal.
The basic requirements for podcasting are a computer (PC or Mac),
podcasting software, and an Internet connection.
For portability, an iPod or other mp3 player is needed.
The most popular podcasting software is Apple's free
But you can also use other services such as
With most podcasting software you will be able to listen to your podcast episodes from your computer
(provided your computer has a sound card and can play MP3 audio files).
You can also listen to your podcasts on-the-run by transfering the mp3 files from your computer to a
portable media device like an iPod or a Blackberry type cell phone.
To subscribe to a PTS podcast, click the button for your podcast tool (like iTunes or My Yahoo!) and follow the
If you don't see a button for your preferred tool, simply copy the URL (highlighted in yellow below) and paste it
into your podcasting software. In iTunes you can find this option under the "Advanced" menu as "Subscribe to podcast."
Click the podcast directory of episodes, select an episode, and click the "Read More" link.
Each episode page has links for you to download the audio into your
or download the MP3 file directly onto your computer for playback in any other MP3 device.
RSS subscription feeds available at PTS
Podcast subscription feeds available at PTS