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 article.
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
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 delivery.
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
Finding Topic Specific Relevant Feeds
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 communication method.
3.) Disseminate relevant information.
4.) Define themselves as an industry
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. http://www.notepage.net
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless
messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found
, and http://www.small-business-software.net