RSS & Fire Service
RSS & Fire Service Brochure
(PDF version available on request at AskOFM)
RSS & Fire Service
Office of the Fire Marshal
Fire Sciences Library & Audio-Visual Resource Centre
How to Subscribe to RSS Feeds & Use a RSS Reader
RSS is an abbreviation of Really Simple Syndication. It's a format that websites use to distribute content either text based or audio, and video (Podcasting).
Using an RSS Reader allows you to access updated content from a website without having to visit the site over and over again looking for current information.
There are many RSS feeds for the Fire Service – from general media (CTV, CBC, CityTV) to newspapers to magazines.
In order to view a feed you need a feed reader. All modern web browsers (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 7/8) allow you to view feeds within the browser itself but you can also view feeds through a web-based interface or a desktop application
The Fire Sciences Library & Audiovisual Resource Centre views RSS feeds with Google reader (web-based). There are other RSS readers such as , Bloglines (web-based), NewsGator (Windows application), and NewtNewsWire (Mac application).
To subscribe to a RSS feed you will need a RSS reader. There are over 2,000 different reading applications, also known as news aggregators (for text) and podcatchers (for audio/video). Most of these applications are free, however some charge a small fee particularly mobile readers. The online readers have an advantage in that you can access your updates anywhere from a web
browser. Also, updates and upgrades are done automatically. This brochure will only cover Online Readers, using Google Reader as an example.
Internet Browser Readers
Internet Explorer 7, 8
NewsGator Go! (fee)
Google Reader Mobile
(OFM does not endorse any commercial products that may be advertised in this brochure.)
Benefits of Using an RSS Reader
- Centralize preferred sources from the Internet into one place rather than visiting individual sites
- Sources can include news sites, social media– Blogs, Twitter, Wikis, Facebook, Podcasts (audio/video feeds), YouTube etc.
- Eliminate online advertising
- Subscribe and unsubscribe to RSS feeds
- Anonymity – your IP address is not left on the site
- Eliminate email updates, less clutter in your inbox
Choosing an RSS Reader
Choose your RSS reader–Google, Bloglines, Netvibes, Newsgator, MyYahoo all work similar in that they provide instruction/tutorials to help you set up your feed. Your preference will depend on brand and what additional features you are looking for.
Go to www.google.ca and click on More and choose Reader from the drop down list.
Set up an online account using your email address. You can use your current email address or create a separate gmail address.
Subscribe to RSS Feeds
Add feeds to your account by going to sites that have sources you want to subscribe to - look for the words RSS, Subscribe, XML, Atom, 2.0, Podcast or the RSS Symbols which are usually found on the top or bottom of the web page. After you click on the Subscribe button, import it to your Google Reader. Can also cut and paste the URL into the Add a Subscription category.
eg. NFPA Fire Service Today Blog http://nfpa.typepad.com/fireservicetoday/
Feeds from your sources (news, blogs, magazines, weather etc.) will populate your reader. Feeds can be organized using folders, tagging, labelling, and notes. Feeds can also be arranged by subject. Click on Setting in upper right corner of Google Reader and choose Subscriptions.
Reading RSS Feeds
Check your RSS feeds for current content, make it part of your homepage (iGoogle for example), can also upload content to your mobile browser.
Many Fire service websites have added social media tools to their web pages. Check for RSS Feeds, Blogs, Twitter, Podcasts, Facebook, and YouTube links.
Visit the OFM Fire News newsletter to keep current on fire research and fire incidents in Ontario. Thru the newsletter, the use of social media in the fire service will be highlighted.
For a listing of Fire Service websites using social media, click here
Fire Sciences Library & Audio-Visual Resource Centre, Office of the Fire Marshal
Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services 25 Morton Shulman Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M3M 0B1