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What is the purpose of the RSS feed??

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Next to the title of each message board there is an icon that almost looks like a speaker. If you hold you cursor over it it read "RSS feed for *board name*. When I click on it I get some thing that looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
- <rss version="2.0" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/">
- <channel>
<title>Chowhound's Latest ยป General Chowhounding Topics</title>
<link href="http://www.chowhound.com/boards/show/27" rel="self" />
<pubDate>Fri, 30 Jun 2006 17:28:37 GMT</pubDate>
<description>Keep track of the lastest threads on Chowhound</description>
- <item>
<title>The world's best and easiest mocha</title>
<link href="http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/..." rel="alternate" />
<description>In a topic about what to do if there is no milk in the house for coffee, Pat Hammond suggessted using ice cream. I did that with some vanilla and it was wonderful. Raley's was having an ice cream sale, so I picked some chocolate last night and figured I'd try it in a cup this morning. Oh my, oh my, oh my ... Instant wonderful, amazing mocha. The coffee becomes rich, there is a light whipped cream froth and when you get to the bottom of the cup in all that lovely froth there are still little cool pieces of chocolate ice cream. I'm also thinking to up the chocolate flavor get the deepest chocolate ice cream or gelato available. My cup with Bryers regular chocolate tasted like a standard mocha, but I like intense chocolate and if this was so good, deeper chocolate might be more amazing. Thanks again Pat. Now I HAVE to go out and get some coffee ice cream. Love the fact you can bookmark a reply in a topic. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...>
<pubDate>Fri, 30 Jun 2006 17:28:37 GMT</pubDate>
- <item>
<title>Pork for Dessert?</title>
<link href="http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/..." rel="alternate" />
<description>A friend of mine is hosting a 4 course menu in which all courses must contain some form of pork product (what a great idea!). The menu is shaping up nicely except dessert. It's hard to find dessert recipes with pork (strange, huh?) Does anyone have any ideas for pork desserts? I figured chowhounds would be the best group of resources to track down the best ideas. She's heard about bacon ice cream but can't find a recipe, and all other ideas welcome too.</description>
<pubDate>Fri, 30 Jun 2006 17:21:27 GMT</pubDate>
- <item>

Are we supposed to be able to access this or is this some cool hidden feature that I can figure out how to use??

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  1. The RSS feed enables you to view topics from that board in a feed reader such as Bloglines. (You can go to Bloglines.com and get a free account.)

    I think Chowhounds feed is set up so you get the Intial topic post only -- not the replies. But you can click a link to jump to the chowhound site.

    1. Feed readers rock! Thanks to Firefox's built in feed reader I've bookmarked a couple boards which enables me to see the headlines/topic titles of the latest twenty threads for each RSS feed I've bookmarked.

      One thing should be noted though: deleted posts still show up in the feeds. Hopefully the engineers will take care of that so I can stop searching for that danged mysterious walnut burger thread.