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RSS feeds - how to create and use with Consultation Finder

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Please note: RSS feeds cannot be taken from Citizen Space v3. The best way to link consultations from Citizen Space into your own website would be to use any of the alternative options listed in the article linked here.

What is RSS?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. It is a way of being able to get new and updated information (or 'feeds') from websites without having to keep going back to those websites.

We use RSS in Citizen Space's Consultation Finder to enable people  - both admins and end users - to create custom feeds of consultations that target specific Interests, Areas and/or Audiences. In this way, people can always be kept up to date with the consultations that interest them.

What do I need to do?

You will need a feed reader (aka feed aggregator). This is a piece of software that updates your chosen feeds whenever you are connected to the internet. There are two major types of readers:

  • Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer connected to the internet, similar to a web-based email service.
  • Downloadable applications retrieve and store feeds directly on your computer, which you can read anytime.

Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of feed aggregators at Reader and Netvibes are popular choices.

If you want to create an RSS feed on your corporate website or similar, you will likely need to get in touch with the administrator and let them know the feed url (see below).

What's next?

To create a customized RSS feed of specific consultations, go to Find Consultations then Advanced Search. Create the search you require and click the Search button. So, for example, if you only wanted to see consultations on education, you might select 'education' in the interest field of your search. 

Then, depending on your feed reader and your web browser, either:
• click ‘Create RSS feed from results’ to view the feed URL, then add it your feed reader, or
• right click the ‘Create RSS feed from results’, copy it, then paste it to add to your feed reader.

On the right of the list of consultations, there is a link to create rss feed from results. This will automatically notify you of consultation updates through your rss reader

NB Most readers will allow you to change the name of the subscription to something more specific, e.g. 'Environmental Consultations'.

How can I embed an RSS feed into my website or blog?

You can share the feed you've created on your own website or blog. To do this, set up your search, as above. To get the URL for the feed, right click on the 'Create RSS feed from results' button and select 'Copy Link Address':

The contextual menu for a link has many options including the highlighted Copy Link address

To add the link to  your site, you will need to:

  • log in to your website or blog as an administrator in order to edit it;
  • add a widget/plugin into your blog or website, or whatever your site requires for displaying feeds;
  • copy (see instructions above) and paste the RSS feed’s URL where prompted.

The exact instructions will vary depending on your blog or website platform. For your convenience, we have provided some links below to assist you, or check the help/support section on your platform’s website.

Popular blog platform help pages for adding feeds: