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
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
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
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 more frequently.
3.) Automate content
The benefits of RSS feeds are not
limited to webmasters, surfers too benefit from
the technology as well.
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 material.
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
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
RSS allows for content developers
1.) Increase exposure in niche markets.
2.) Communicate with
user bases and reach potential customers via an
alternate communication method.
3.) Disseminate relevant
4.) Define themselves
as an industry expert.
5.) Automate content
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
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
Software Marketing News
- news related to software conferences, awards,
software development and marketing
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage,
and FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com