A Quiz: Test Your RSS Smarts
You think that you have mastered the art of RSS, but
how much do you really know? Take the RSS quiz to test your knowledge
Question: If something is in an RSS feed, it is
perfectly fine to reproduce the contents of the feed. I mean after
all RSS means really simple syndication, right?
Answer: No, that is not true. Regardless of
whether content is in a feed or not, the original creator of the
content has the right to restrict its use. While most people do
feel that if content is in an RSS feed, it is available for syndication--that
is not always the case. Various groups have made efforts to add
namespaces which expand the tags used in RSS, to define whether
the content is available for syndication. The two most notable namespaces
that detail permissions are the Creative Commons extension and the
Bloglines' Access extension. These two extensions are not yet widely
supported so it is always best to check the terms of service associated
with the feed or website to determine if the feed is available for
Question: RSS is only for blogs right? All blogs
have RSS feeds right?
Answer: No, and No! While blogs may have helped
increase the popularity of RSS feeds, RSS feeds are not specific
to blogs. RSS feeds can be used for any type of content not just
blogs. In fact, there are probably more RSS feeds available for
non-blogs than there are feeds for blogs. Publishers have used RSS
feeds for articles, press releases, discounts, podcasts, calendars,
alerts and the list goes on and on.
Question: When I add a new item to the feed, do
I simply edit the old .rss file or do I create a new one?
Answer: If you are adding content related to
the theme of the original RSS feed, you should always expand your
existing RSS feed rather than creating a new feed. Do not edit any
of the RSS feed's existing items, simply add a new item to the existing
Question: Can RSS Feeds be set up for private list
subscribers and what kind of security is available for RSS feeds
to support a private feed?
Answer: Yes, while there are no provisions
in the RSS 2.0 specification for passwords or protecting files,
you can use any security mechanism available on the http server
to protect the entire RSS feed. The security options are dependent
on the capabilities of your web server.
Question: What is a feed reader?
Answer: A feed reader can also be referred
to a news aggregator. RSS feed readers come in all shapes and sizes
and are just tools that make it easy for users to view the contents
or headlines of the RSS feeds they subscribe to. Feed readers can
be desktop applications, or web applications. Desktop readers are
programs that behave similar to an email client, you add new feeds
and when the RSS feeds you subscribe to are updated new items appear
in the RSS reader. The web aggregators are websites that aggregate
all of your favorite feeds, the web page dynamically updates as
new items are added to the feeds you subscribe to. Many email applications
now also include the ability to monitor RSS feeds. As the popularity
of RSS increases, the options to read and monitor feeds is expanding.
Question: Can you block a search engine from accessing
Answer: You can use a robots.txt to indicate
to search engines that specific RSS feeds should not be indexed.
Most search engines will observe the contents of a properly formatted
Question: What is a GUID?
Answer: A GUID is a globally unique identifier.
The RSS specification strongly suggests that each RSS feed item
have a unique GUID. If you are creating feeds, a GUID is important
because GUIDs are often used by feed readers and aggregators to
determine if a feed item is new or simply an existing item that
has been updated. Each item in the RSS feed should have a different
Interested in additional RSS FAQs visit the RSS Knowledgebase
or subscribe to the RSS knowledgebase feed http://www.feedforall.com/knowledgebase.php
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.