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Project on Government Oversight

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Joe Newman, Director of Communications
(202) 347-1122 or email



Get the latest POGO news and information, including alerts, letters, testimony, and reports, right when we post it online. You'll be able to easily view these in your news reader (and some newer email programs) and even display them on your blog.

Click here to find out how it works.


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About Feeds

Many websites have links labeled "XML" or "RSS" or "Atom". All of these are ways of saying that you can find and read new site content like stories, press releases, action alerts, and publications without having to visit the site in your web browser.


This feature is referred to as "syndication" or "aggregation". Sometimes it's just called subscribing. And these days, instead of one of these words, lots of sites will use a little orange button. The standard one looks like this: It's also common to see buttons that say "RSS" or "XML", which looks like this: XML

All these links and buttons mean the same thing: The site you're viewing has a feed available.

We've provided a little bit of information here on how you can get easily get started reading feeds for free.

Getting Started

Who Publishes Feeds?
Most of the biggest names on the web offer content feeds including, BBC News Headlines, ABCNews, CNET, Yahoo!, (including a podcast!), and many more. In addition, hundreds of thousands of bloggers, podcasters and videobloggers publish feeds to keep themselves better connected to their readers/listeners/admirers/critics. Defenders of Wildlife publishes a variety of feeds on individual issue areas, like wolves,  or of a single type of content, like action alerts, so that you can more easily stay informed of the latest wildlife news.

What Do I Need?
Just like when you want to watch a video clip or listen to music on the web, you need a "player" of some kind to subscribe to feeds. Good news: Most of these tools are free, and there are many to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits you.

The "player" for a feed is called a feed reader. This tool lets you subscribe to any feeds you want, checks automatically to see when they're updated, and then displays the updates for you as they arrive.

Feed readers can run on your computer or you can sign up to use a feed-reader that runs on the web. If you use one of the web-based readers, you can access your feeds from anywhere you go, just by signing into the website that manages your feeds. If you use a feed reading program that installs on your computer, your feeds can be stored for you even if you're not connected to the Internet.

What Feed Reader Should I Use?
Here's a list some of the most popular feed readers.

On the web: If you don't want to have to install a program, many people choose My Yahoo!, Google Personalized Homepage, My MSN, or My AOL to read feeds right within the home page that their browser starts in. Other providers of web-based feed readers include Rojo. Bloglines, or NewsGator Online. All of the web-based services are free.

On your computer: If you want a feed reading program that runs on your own computer, there are a few options. Anyone using the Mozilla Firefox web browser has support for feeds built-in, and Microsoft Windows users have support for feeds in Internet Explorer 7. Apple Macintosh users can also use the built-in support for feeds in the Safari web browser.

If you want a separate program to read feeds, you can use FeedDemon or NewsGator for Microsoft Outlook or Attensa for Outlook if you're on Microsoft Windows. Both tools let you switch between these programs and the web-based reader at any time. If you're on a Macintosh running OS X, the most popular feed reader is NetNewsWire, which can also connect to the web-based services.

Subscribing to Feeds

Once you've got a tool to read feeds, you'll want to find some feeds worth reading. Many of the tools listed above provide some built-in feeds to get you started. Then, as you visit other sites on the web, you can keep your eyes open for links that say XML or RSS or Syndication, or for that orange button up above, and add the feeds you find interesting.