18 June 2007

What Is RSS Feed and Why Would You Use It? by Nancy Val Verde

RSS is known as "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary." It is a tool that can save updated content on your favorite website or blog. It updates material by scanning websites via an XML code that sends the information to subscribers. If you want to share your website, RSS, makes it really simple. You place your content in an RSS document. Next, you register your content with a website that provides RSS feeds or aggregator.

The content usually includes new or blog websites, but can contain other types of digital content such as pictures, video or audio files. Once the content is sent to a RSS feeder, the feeder usually will show a headline, some text or review of the content. If you want to read further, you will need to click on a link.

There are two kinds of aggregators to register your website with. One is a downloadable program for your desktop and the second kind is an online or web based site.

Typically, a desktop feeder charges for its program, but it also offers additional customization of page format and RSS feeds and other services. An example of a desktop aggregator is FeedDemon which features services such as a search channel that includes other RSS service, filtering of RSS feeds, built-in podcast receiver and etc.

An online aggregator is usually free of charge, but is more limited in providing customized service. My Yahoo and bloglines are two examples of online aggregators. My Yahoo has popularized RSS feeds to both users and advertisers with its customizable home page design and use of banner advertisements.

While My Yahoo may be well known, Blogline has many advantages to offer. It is user friendly for beginners and offers many benefits such as it's own directory of RSS website feeds, add-on tools for subscription buttons and automated blogrolls. In addition, it supports all major browsers such as Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and offers other benefits not listed here.

You don't have RSS feed on your site?
You can download RSS Builder. It is a freeware program that can create a RSS feed for your web site. Then you can submit RSS feeds after you download. Or you can create own format. RSS 2.0 is by consensus, an easy and simple format to use.

Why should you send out RSS feeds?
You will increase the visibility of your site and allow viewers to easily keep up with your posts. Also, it offers your users convenience of not having to search your page. They can just go to their aggregator which will provide them with a description of your site and a link to it.

After you submit RSS feeds for awhile, you will begin to attract a wider audience and increase traffic for your site as viewers begin to book mark your website for their content source.

Why should you get RSS feeds?
You can generate additional traffic to your website by adding RSS to your site. Using RSS will bypass the regular indexing procedure and will get your content indexed quickly. Also, RSS feeds can be found and read from cell phones and PDAs.

You can update your sites with new content by patching in various websites to your blog. When the various websites are updated, it will be reflected in your blog. This is an easy way to instantly add new content to your site.

You will find that RSS is a valuable tool for either a blog or website. Since you can implement it for free, you will not lose anything for trying it out. Chances are that you may enjoy the benefits of easy access to content and increased traffic to your site.

About the Author

To learn more about this topic, check out my websites at http://blogging-fundamentals.blogspot.com and http://reviewinfo.thebestbizreview.com

No comments: