RSS basics - Thunderbird
From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
Like the Firefox browser, Thunderbird can be used to access websites that make content available through RSS feeds. Unlike Firefox, however, which gives you access to RSS feeds through Live Bookmarks, Thunderbird lets you view RSS content in a way that is very similar to reading email: the RSS feeds that you subscribe to will be listed in the folders pane, the individual article titles or "headlines" will be displayed in the message-list pane, and when you click on a title the article content will be displayed in the message preview pane.
What is RSS?
RSS is a Web content syndication format. Its name is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication
Creating an RSS News & Blogs account
Before you can subscribe to any RSS feeds, you first need to create an RSS account. To do so:
Note: if the option to create an RSS account does not even appear, it is probably because you chose a "Custom" (rather than "Standard") install of Thunderbird, and you did not select to include RSS Support in your installation. In that case, you should uninstall Thunderbird and reinstall it, making sure to include the RSS option this time.
Subscribing to an RSS feed
You subscribe to a feed through the "RSS Subscriptions" dialog (screenshot), which can be accessed in any of these ways:
Once you've brought up the "RSS Subscriptions" dialog, all you need to do to subscribe to an RSS feed is click the "Add" button, enter the URL for the feed into the box, and click "OK" (screenshot). After the feed is verified, it will then appear in the "RSS Subscriptions" dialog and in the folders pane under the account.
In the same way, you can add more feeds under a single RSS account. If you subscribe to numerous feeds, you may wish to create more than one RSS News & Blogs account, each with multiple subscribed feeds.
Other RSS settings
For each RSS account, there are some basic settings available through "Tools -> Account Settings -> [Account Name]":
For each subscribed RSS feed:
Using Saved Search Folders with RSS accounts
You can create Saved Search folders for your RSS accounts and feeds. For example, if you subscribe to Yahoo! News but you're only interested in reading the Los Angeles Times stories included among all the Yahoo! News articles, you can create a Saved Search Folder to display only those articles. This is especially convenient when the feed provides a lot of articles but you are only interested in a specific subset of them. Or when you just want to see what's new on the site without actually loading it.
Password protected feeds
The password wizard will enter a saved password for you but you have to press the OK button (or press Enter), unlike other types of accounts. There is a very old bug report requesting this be fixed.