One of the most popular features of Internet portals, websites, pages and even emails is a frame that features an organized list of news headlines and periodic updates from other web sources. Really Simple Syndication, formerly “Rich Site Summary” or simply, RSS makes this possible. |
Most users visit a lot of websites whose content continually change, such as news sites, community organization or professional association information pages, medical websites, product support pages, and blogs. As Internet surfing became an intrinsic part of business and leisure, it became important to get rid of the very tedious task of repeatedly returning to each website to see updated content.
RSS easily distributes information from different websites to a wider number of Internet users. RSS aggregators are programs that use RSS to source these updates, and then organize those lists of headlines, content and notices for easy reading. It allows computers to automatically retrieve and read the content that users want, then track changes and personalize lists of headlines that interests them.
The specially made computer programs called “RSS aggregators” were created to automatically find and retrieve the RSS feeds of pre-selected internet sites on behalf of the user and organize the results accordingly. (RSS feeds and aggregators are also sometimes referred to as "RSS Channels" and "RSS Readers".)
The RSS aggregator is like a web browser for RSS content. HTML presents information directly to users, and RSS automatically lets computers communicate with one another. While users use browsers to surf the web then load and view each page of interest, RSS aggregators keeps track of changes to many websites. The titles or descriptions are links themselves and can be used to load the web page the user wants.
RSS starts with an original Web site that has content made available by the administrator. The website creates an RSS document and registers this content with an RSS publisher that will allow other websites to syndicate the documents. The Web site also produces an RSS feed, or channel, which is available together with all other resources or documents on the particular Web server. The website will register the feed as an RSS document, with a listed directory of appropriate RSS publishers.
An RSS feed is composed of website content listed from newest to oldest. Each item usually consists of a simple title describing the item along with a more complete description and a link to a web page with the actual content being described. In some instances, the short description or title line is the all the updated information that a user wants to read (for example, final games scores in sports, weblogs post, or stock updates). Therefore, it is not even necessary to have a web page associated with the content or update items listed -- sometimes all the needed information that users need would be in the titles and short summaries themselves.
The RSS content is located in a single file on a webpage in a manner not very different from typical web pages. The difference is that the information is written in the XML computer code for use by an RSS aggregator and not by a web user like a normal HTML page.
There are 2 main parts that are involved in RSS syndication, namely: the source end and the client end.
The client end of RSS publishing makes up part of the system that gathers and uses the RSS feed. For example, Mozilla FireFox browser is typically at the client end of the RSS transaction. A user’s desktop RSS aggregator program also belongs to the client end.
Once the URL of an RSS feed is known, a user can give that address to an RSS aggregator program and have the aggregator monitor the RSS feed for changes. Numerous RSS aggregators are already preconfigured with a ready list of RSS feed URLs for popular news or information websites that a user can simply choose from.
There are many RSS aggregators that can be used by all Internet users. Some can be accessed through the Internet, some are already incorporated into email applications, and others run as a standalone program inside the personal computer.
There are many benefits to using RSS feeds. Aside from being a great supplemental communication method that streamlines the communication needs of various sectors, RSS tools and feeds can also have tremendous benefits in your business, particularly in the field of internet marketing.
RSS tools and feeds provide Internet users with a free (or cheap) and easy advertising or online marketing opportunity for their businesses. Below are some of the RSS features that can help make your internet marketing strategies more effective.
1. Ease in content distribution services. With RSS, your business can be captured and displayed by virtually any external site, giving you an easy way to 'spread out' and advertise them.
2. Ease in regular content updates. With RSS, web contents concerning your business can now be automatically updated on a daily (and even hourly) basis. Internet users will be able to experience 'real time' updates as information in your own file (such as new products and other business-related releases) is changed and modified simultaneously with that of the RSS feeds that people are subscribed to.
3. Custom-made content services. With RSS, visitors can have personalized content services, allowing them total control of the flow and type of information that they receive. Depending on their interests and needs, visitors can subscribe to only those contents that they are looking for (such as real estate or job listings).
4. Increase in (and targeted) traffic. With RSS, traffic will be directed to your site as readers of your content summary (or 1 to 2 lines of your article) who find them interesting are 'forced' to click on a link back to your site.
RSS can be an effective marketing tool for your website, especially in the following fields:
¤ ¤ ¤ E-mail marketing and publishing
¤ ¤ ¤ Search engine marketing and optimization
¤ ¤ ¤ Business blogging
¤ ¤ ¤ Internet advertising
¤ ¤ ¤ Digital public relations
¤ ¤ ¤ Branding and e-commerce
In addition, RSS can 'power' your website, providing you with the following:
==> Valuable, updated, and relevant resources for site visitors and potential clients - RSS is ideal for websites that contain (and syndicate) a lot of information that has to be changed or updated regularly.
==> Search engine optimization for the website.
==> Increased traffic for the website - your website can 'harvest' and display information from other sites, driving more traffic to your own website.
==> A wide selection of 'channels' for content distribution, such as PDA's, cellular phones, voice mails, and email ticklers.
==> A reliable way to have your web content delivered to Internet users and potential clients - RSS ensures that your site is viewed by the people who are interested in them, without having them blocked and 'cleaned' by ISPs or Spam filters.
These are just some of the advantages that RSS can give your website (and your business). The uses of feeds will continue to grow, because RSS aggregators make access to any information that individual users like more convenient and fun. The possibilities are endless, as more and more comes up almost everyday. Do not be left behind - take the advantage of the marketing and publishing power of RSS.
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