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What Are RSS Feeds
What Are RSS Feeds?
RSS also known as rich site summary or real simply syndication,
arrived on the scene a number of years ago, but was
only recently embraced by webmasters as a means to effectively
syndicate content. RSS Feeds provide webmasters and
content providers an avenue to provide concise summaries
to prospective readers. Thousands of commercial web
sites and blogs now publish content summaries in an
RSS feed. Each item in the feed typically contains a
headline; article summary and link back to the online
Benefit to the Webmaster
As the web has become more crowded webmasters
have been striving to provide fresh and up to date content
for their website visitors. Many webmasters have discovered
they can easily utilize the information in RSS feeds
to provide fresh web content.
RSS feeds are composed in XML, which is
a very simple markup language. Similar to HTML, XML
uses tags to identify fields. Webmasters can easily
parse the RSS feed and dynamically create web pages
that contain headlines and summaries. The feeds will
continuously update, supplying a steady stream of automatically
generated fresh content.
RSS allows webmasters to:
1.) Provide fresh and relevant content
on their website, which encourages users to return.
2.) Constantly changing
content means that search engine spiders will visit
3.) Automate content delivery.
The benefits of RSS feeds are not limited
to webmasters, surfers too benefit from the technology
Benefit to Web Surfers
The beauty of RSS is that readers can quickly
scan headlines (titles) and read articles of interest.
Because the information is condensed and provided in
a single location users can generally review more information
in a shorter time frame. Additional information is only
a click away. Best of all readers choose the feeds they
wish to see, there is no spam with RSS. If you are not
completely thrilled with the content appearing in a
feed simply remove it from the newsreader. The technology
is a pull technology rather than push technology, meaning
the content is not forced on the consumers, who pull
the content they want to see.
RSS allows for users to:
1.) Easily locate information.
2.) Read condensced information
or 'soundbytes' with clearly marked and dated topic
3.) Classify and categorize
information in an easy to navigate manner.
4.) Maximize their time
without having to deal with spam.
RSS feeds can be viewed in a news aggregator
or reader, which constantly updates and shows unread
feeds. I found the functionality of the newsreaders
to be similar to a simple email client. Consumers generally
enter the URL of any RSS feeds that interest them. Topics
with a common theme can be segregated into related groups.
I highly recommend FeedDemon http://www.feeddemon.com
by BradSoft as a newsreader. FeedDemon is extremely
easy to use and allows for quick scanning and indexing
of topics. FeedDemon allows users to quickly scan, sort
and scroll through headline and article summaries, while
viewing the actual content in a split screen web browser.
Finding Topic Specific Relevant
In order to find feeds that provide niche information
users can search Feedster. Feedster http://www.feedster.com
is a rapidly growing news search engine that indexes
information contained within RSS feeds. Searches for
topic specific feeds can be conducted and feeds can
be retrieved for syndication.
Benefit to Content Developer
While the benefits to users and webmasters are
clear the distribution opportunities made available
to content developers should not be overlooked. Information
contained in the RSS feed can be easily syndicated,
increasing content distribution and reach.
RSS allows for content developers to:
1.) Increase exposure in niche markets.
2.) Communicate with user
bases and reach potential customers via an alternate
3.) Disseminate relevant
4.) Define themselves as
an industry expert.
5.) Automate content delivery.
RSS has effectively standardized the format
for content delivery and has effectively defined the
accepted standard for content distribution and syndication.
RSS will likely rival email as a means of content distribution
in another few years. The shear simplicity makes the
technology very appealing.
The distribution potential, while albeit
difficult to measure, is still attractive to all parties
making the likelihood that RSS popularity will only
continue to grow.
RSS Feeds to Try
Feeds exist for almost any topic consider trying
these feeds out by entering the url in your feed reader:
Small Business Feed - small
business tips and news
Software Marketing Blog Summary - software
marketing and online news
SMS, Wireless Messaging Related
News. - news related to telecom, wireless industry
and NotePage's software
Free Content Articles - collection of
free content articles, updates when new article is released.
Software Marketing News
- news related to software conferences, awards, software
development and marketing
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc.
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and
wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by
Sharon can be found at http://www.rss-specifications.com
, and http://www.small-business-software.net
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