to RSS Feeds..."
By Sharon Housley
RSS streamlines communication between publishers
and readers. Since RSS has had a popularity surge, webmasters
have been experimenting and using RSS feeds to deliver content
in new and innovative ways. Typically, RSS feeds contain news
headlines and content summaries. The content summaries contain
just enough information without overwhelming the reader with superfluous
details. If the reader is interested and wants additional information
they can click on the item in the feed, accessing the website
which contains additional details. RSS readers aggregate multiple
feeds, making it easy for individuals to quickly scan information
contained within each feed. Feeds are generally themed, allowing
users to opt-in to feeds that are of interest.
The big benefit to RSS is that individuals opt-in
to content of interest, totally controlling the flow of information
that they receive. If the quality of the content in the feed declines,
users simply remove the feed from their RSS reader and they will
not receive any additional updates from that source. The RSS reader
acts as an aggregator, allowing users to view and scan multiple
content streams in a timely fashion.
RSS is a great supplemental communication method that does not
burden the publisher with maintaining lists or following strict
privacy guidelines. RSS feeds are compiled according to the user's
choices, removing any burden that is placed on publishers of email
newsletters. Publishers no longer need to be concerned with spam,
privacy policies, and age guidelines.
Publishers using RSS as a communication vehicle are able to create
keyword-rich, themed content, establishing trust, reputation,
and ongoing communication with current and prospective customers.
What Kind of Information Can be Delivered in RSS Feeds?
Many blogs are catalogued in an RSS feed, with each blog entry
summarized as a feed item. This makes it easy for visitors to
scan blog posts for items of interest.
Articles are often placed into feeds to alert readers when new
articles and content are available. The feed entry is typically
an article summary or introduction. Readers can then ascertain
if the article is of interest and read further.
Many forums now have add-ons that allow participants to receive
forum posts via RSS. The RSS feeds often will show the latest
discussion topics; if users are interested they simply click to
enter the forum to participate in the discussion. As the topic
is updated they will see new entries in the RSS feed.
Schools, clubs and organizations will often use feeds to communicate
meeting times, places and events that might be occurring. The
RSS feeds are often used to publicize events, notify the community
of schedule changes or meeting agendas.
Discounts / Specials Feed
Retail and online stores have begun using RSS feeds to deliver
their latest specials and discounted offers. Some online retailers
have taken this a step further, allowing users to create their
own feeds based on keywords or phrases.
For example, this service will generate a URL
than can be entered into a news reader. The feed is updated each
time an item is added to Amazon that meets the specified criteria
or keywords - Amazon Search Feed - http://www.oxus.net/amazon/
Ego / News Monitoring
Companies or individuals interested in receiving headline news
based on a specific brand or keyword can use RSS feeds to monitor
For example, users can use the following tool to create a feed
that will allow them to receive filtered news from Google News.
They will only receive items related to a specific keyword or
phrase they setup - http://www.justinpfister.com/gnewsfeed.php
Industry-Specific RSS Feed Uses Include:
Technical professionals in specific industries have also developed
RSS feeds as way to market, promote or communicate within their
specific industries. In many cases, this has expanded their reach
and increased communication with current and prospective customers
RSS feeds can be used by realtors to communicate the time and
location for open houses, announce new property listings or promote
decreased mortgage rates. Content feeds can also be used by universities
to communicate sports scores or event schedules. Computer service
professionals can create feeds to notify clients of potential
security breaches, virus risks or outbreaks. Ultimately, RSS is
molded to meet the communication needs of many sectors. Consider
how RSS can benefit your business and supplement your communication
RSS feed creation tool for publishers interested
in creating fresh content - FeedForAll - http://www.feedforall.com