Those of you who use Slate's RSS feed may have noticed a few improvements lately. (More on those in a moment.) For those of you who don't—and those of you who still don't know what an RSS feed is—well, now is an opportune time to get up to speed.
RSS, short for "really simple syndication," is a way to keep tabs on what your favorite Web sites are publishing. You set up an RSS reader on your computer and then select any Web site that offers an RSS feed—say, www.slate.com. If you point your RSS reader at www.slate.com/rss, the reader will display headlines and previews of the most recently published Slate stories and clickable links that will show you the full article. The advantage? Instead of wasting time refreshing your countless bookmarked Web sites, new content on those sites comes directly to you. (For more on how to set it up, click here.)
At Slate, we first introduced RSS back in 2004, but we've recently upgraded our offerings in both quality and quantity. Our main Slate feed, available at www.slate.com/rss, alerts readers to every piece we publish; it now offers more descriptive headlines and longer article previews, so it's easier to get a real sense of what a story is about before you click through to read it.
In addition, we've created RSS feeds for every department on Slate. If you love Slate's "Explainer," you can subscribe to that feed, receive an alert every time we publish a new column, and merrily ignore the rest of the site. If you live your life in agony waiting for Bruce Reed's next post, our new RSS feed for his blog "The Has-Been" will let you know as soon as his items go live.
We've listed the RSS feed URLs for Slate's most popular departments below; paste the ones you want into your reader, and you're all set. You can also find links to department RSS feeds on any article page within that department: In the right margin of, say, a "Press Box" column, at the bottom of the module that says "More Press Box Columns," you'll find a link reading "Subscribe to the Press Box RSS feed."
Slate's main RSS feed:
Slate's department feeds: