Learning the Basics of RSS What is RSS? You probably have seen this three-letter acronym in the course of your internet surfing. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary; syndicating means republishing an article that comes from another source such as a website. An RSS is a means of publicizing updates about websites. It may or may not include a summary and photos of the latest posting. But those that provide summaries (thus Rich Site Summary) allow users to skim through the article so that they could decide later on if they want to access the website source. The RSS feed usually contains the title of the update originating from the website. It is also usually the link to the website source. What are the benefits of RSS? RSS gives benefits to both readers (users) and web publishers. 1. It gives you the latest updates. Whether it is about the weather, new music, software upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updates site learn about the latest as soon as it comes out. 2. It saves on surfing time. Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the user's time by helping s/he decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net. 3. It gives the power of subscription to the user. Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently. 4. It lessens the clutter in your inbox. Although your email address will be required to enjoy the services of online RSS aggregators, RSS does not use your email address to send the updates. 5. It is spam free. Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails. 6. Unsubscribing is hassle-free. Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked questions on why s/he is unsubscribing and then the user would be asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you have to do is to delete the RSS feed from your aggregator. 7. It can be used as an advertising or marketing tool. Users who subscribe or syndicate product websites receive the latest news on products and services without the website sending spam mail. This is advantageous to both the web user and the website owner since advertising becomes targeted; those who are actually interested in their products are kept posted. What are the drawbacks of RSS? The disadvantages of RSS use are brought about by its being a new technology and some user-preference concerns. 1. Some users prefer receiving email updates over an RSS feed. 2. Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds. For conciseness and ease of publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for some web-based aggregators 3. The identity of the source website can be confusing. Since RSS feeds do not display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what feed a user is actually reading. 4. Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they would not know the reasons why users unsubscribe which could be important in improving their advertising. 5. RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server. Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site. 6. Since it is a new technology, many sites still do not support RSS. How do I start using RSS? There are two things needed: an RSS feed and an RSS aggregator or reader. The RSS feed comes from an RSS-supported website. There are also websites that provide a list of RSS feeds of different websites. An RSS aggregator is used to read the RSS feed from the source website. It scans and collects data on latest RSS feeds from the worldwide web. An aggregator comes in two forms: a downloadable program also known as desktop aggregator and an online or web-based aggregator. Downloadable aggregators may require payment before they can be acquired, while internet-based aggregators are usually free of charge. All you need to do is to register an account then you are ready to use their services. Both versions allow you to customize or choose which RSS feeds to enter. Paid aggregators are usually chosen by more experienced users and they usually allow more freedom in customizing feeds. 1. Choose an RSS aggregator to use. For beginners, web-based aggregators are recommended since they are usually user-friendly 2. Scan the homepage of your target website for the RSS or XML button. It contains the RSS code you need to enter in the aggregator. Copy this code. Syndic8 provides a directory of websites that support RSS. 3. Paste the code (which contains the URL of the website) in your aggregator. There is a space provided for pasting the code. After you have done these three easy steps, you can start reading the RSS feeds coming from the website. New postings appear as they are published real time at the source website. RSS and Internet Marketing The original idea of RSS came from Netscape, where their intention is to provide a means for users to customize their personal homepage to contain links to websites that interest them, similar to bookmarking websites. The application of RSS to internet marketing was an unforeseen development to RSS technology developers. Since users are given the freedom to add RSS feeds to their aggregators, those who are interested in particular products and services available in the internet can now be notified real time. Marketing becomes more specific to interested people and not a hit-and-miss operation. Those who intend to use RSS for marketing their products and services should consider linking up with email account providers, (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google mail); networking websites (e.g. Friendster, Multiply, My Space, Hi5); websites of newspapers and television network websites (e.g. New York Times, CNN) for medium to big-scale companies. Small-time industries can also look into networking websites as well as personal blog websites (e.g. Blogspot) and websites of clubs and organizations that would probably make use of their products or services e.g. a fishing supplies store can look for the website of their local fishing club for possible RSS marketing. Clearly, RSS is an innovation in information management in the worldwide web as well as online marketing. We can expect better RSS technology in the not-so-distant future as its popularity increases among users and website owners alike. All you need to know about RSS What does RSS mean? RSS may mean three different things. The original RSS (RDF Site Summary RSS 0.9) was developed by Dan Libby for Netscape. After a couple of months, they produced a simpler and easier-to-use version called Rich Site Summary or RSS 0.91. But they later lost interest, leaving it without an owner. As more and more users were using RSS, Winer made an adapted version of RSS 0.91 for Userland, claiming it as his own. Later in 2005, Microsoft developed Really Simple Syndication in relation to its Simple Sharing Extensions. What is RSS? RSS is a XML file format for syndicating content and news in the web. It is usually used by websites that constantly need to update their content regularly such as news websites (CNN, BBC and Reuters) and weblogs. Since it essentially gives one's webpage more traffic, it is now more widely used in marketing, web publications and virus reports. Today, large and small websites alike are usually RSS-enabled. For example, you're an avid fan of baseball and you want to share something recent about one of the players. Other than content, you can also attach multimedia files, like videos or pictures. By using RSS feeds, other Internet users subscribed to RSS-enabled sites can read your "headline" for free. They can also track for changes and updates using news aggregators, which will be discussed later on. How does RSS work? To be able to use RSS, you first have to download a software (content management system), by which XML format can be read. The title and, excerpt of the article, and a link to the full article are shown. Other than just text, you can also insert multimedia files in RSS feeds like pictures, videos, mp3s and others. Broadcatching, picturecasting, photocasting, and podcasting are some features you can incorporate into your feed, but will not be discussed in this article. For users to access a RSS feed, they need to use an aggregator or a feed reader. An aggregator searches for updates on RSS-enabled webpages then displays it. It can either be a standalone program or a web browser extension, depending on your operating system. Search engines for web content broadcasted over RSS feed are also available such as Plazoo and Feedster. How can I make an RSS feed? It is definitely easier to make an RSS feed if you know HTML. If not, you could sign up for a blog (there are hundreds out there), some of which automatically creates RSS. If you're using a personal webpage building system, you need to understand more about RSS. Making an RSS feed from scratch is relatively easy. A RSS feed should always contain an "item", whichever version of RSS you might use. If you wrote about a recent event in your city or a book review, the contents of this article can form an item. An item is essentially composed of three things: a title, its description, and link (where they can find your webpage). In choosing a title and description, use something that will describe the web content best. Although it will be easier for you, it doesn't follow that the title tag of your webpage and the item title are the same. An item will look like HTML tags. First, you need to put an opening channel tag that defines it as an XML file. Then, label the tag as an item by putting (item) after the channel tag. After this, you can now insert the three essentials of your item: (title), (description), and (link). Just like HTML, we need to close the tag by writing (/channel) and (/rss) at the bottom. An RSS feed that contains multiple tags looks like this: (?xml version="1.0"?) (rss version="2.0") (channel) (item) (title)Anne Rice's Belinda: A Book Review(/title) (description) If you haven't read any Anne Rice books yet, you will be greeted with shocking romantic relationships forming between unlikely characters(/description) (link) http://allaboutbookreviews.com/belinda (/link) (item) (title)Harry Potter IV: Darker with More Deaths(title) (description) The recently released Harry Potter installation has proved dark for its younger readers(/description) (link) http://allaboutbookreviews.com/harrypotterandthehalfbloodprince (/link) (/channel) (/rss) Now, if you're still having a hard time understanding these tags, look for HTML tags tutorial to further grasp the concept. Have fun! Using RSS fields in communication RSS is fast replacing email marketing and newsletters. You would not want to be left behind would you? Your competitor will surely overtake you and speed right up. RSS is mostly called Really Simple Syndication, although some give other meaning to the acronym. It is a process by which you could place a feed on websites that can read RSS from your directory. Information distribution has been made simply by RSS. Simply put, with RSS, you can place your headline to other website for more people to see it. In marketing, it is a known concept that the more people you reaches to, the more likely that your product will sell. RSS is an XML-based application. XML is similar in a way to HTML, which we all know is the most common website creator application. From a directory, it would feed the headlines into website that has an RSS reader. Creating an RSS feed would definitely boost up your sales. How can you make an RSS feed? Just follow these simple steps: Create a file for your feed. Using a certain format, you'd have to create the XML version of your feed. It should include the title or the headline, the body's short description, and the link where it can be read. There are a lot of different RSS web channel editor you can use for this. Some programs just require you to write news and articles down on a notepad and when placed on the editor, it will show up with the necessary formatting ready for upload. It would be advisable to make at least ten articles for your feed. Save and Upload the file. After creating your file, save your work as an XML, RSS, or an RDF file. Then you are now ready to upload it. Upload the file using your FTP program and place it on your web server. This process now makes the file readable by RSS news aggregators. Validate the file. Make your RSS program error-free. RSS is programming, so errors could lie unseen. Again, there are different programs that can assist you for this process. You would just need to place the saved and uploaded RSS file for the program to test it against wrong and missed code and tags. It is essential for you to check your work of course. This way, you're sure that what you have is readable and usable. Create a directory. Now that you have created the file, saved it, and made sure it works, you are ready to let other see it. The main purpose of an RSS feed is to broadcast it to all RSS enabled sites. So go ahead and look for a directory where you can place your feed. Some may require fees for uploading a directory. Some offer it for free. Scout around and round up all the free sites you can have and place it there. If you have some marketing budget, you might want to subscribe to sites that charge a minimal amount. Don't forget to place an icon of your RSS feed on your website, too for those people who visits you directly. Update regularly. With RSS, you know that the feed changes automatically every time you change the main file. Don't let your RSS feed sit there for a month without modifying it. Maintain it. Add new articles. The more exciting your topic is, the more people will check your feeds and visit your website. Creating an RSS feed for Internet marketing is made very simple now a days. Even people who are not computer savvy can create RSS feeds, based on the steps provided above. The applications that were created for RSS creation are the ones that make it easy for everyday computer users to make an RSS feed. All you need is familiarization with the process. Start now creating RSS feeds. Give your competitor something fierce to duel with. Needless to say, RSS feeds give your website more traffic than usual web hosting. And web traffic means more people seeing your products that could be interested in buying them. Add strength to your marketing strategy. Make RSS feeds and be ready to sell. Reading RSS Feeds with an RSS Aggregator RSS or Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary is the latest information management tool that is gradually earning popularity among web users and website owners. With RSS technology, it is possible to get the latest postings from your favorite websites. But clicking on the RSS or XML button in a homepage is not enough to give you the service you need. An RSS feed or code displayed in the pop-up screen if not on the main page is composed of symbols and words that would only make sense to advanced RSS users and computer programmers and software enthusiasts. Another software tool called an RSS aggregator or reader is needed. An aggregator works by scanning the worldwide web with latest postings based on the RSS code (containing the website's URL) provided or added by the user. When it finds a new posting, news, or update, it will publish the RSS feed on your home page containing the title of the posting, which also serves as a clickable link to the website source. This RSS feed may or may not contain the whole article, a summary, and photos, depending on what RSS aggregator you are using. Aggregators come in two types: the downloadable program or desktop-type and the online or web-based type. The desktop aggregator usually charges a certain amount for its services; this would include regular updating in the form of upgrades or patches to the original version. This type of RSS reader allows more customization of RSS feeds as well as page format or design over its on-line counterparts. But of course, price can be a drawback. Online or web-based aggregators are free of charge. All you need to do is register an account with them then you can start enjoying their services. Depending on the "brand" of the aggregator, customization is more limited. Some even do not allow you to customize at all. Product and service advertisers are realizing the potential of RSS aggregators in internet marketing. In fact, several submit RSS codes to several popular web-based aggregators to reach the growing technophile and internet-based market. My Yahoo has been instrumental in popularizing RSS technology to both users and website owners and advertisers. At present, there are many aggregators to choose from and newer versions of the same aggregator are constantly developed by its programmers. Below are some of these desktop and online aggregators: Desktop Aggregators 1. AmphetaDesk Advantages: - free - supports Linux, Mac, and Windows - easy addition of RSS feeds Disadvantages: - not maximized use of screen display - few options for customizing 2. FeedDemon Advantages: - user friendly - free trial version - contains prepared popular feeds - allows filtering of RSS feeds - configurable "watch list" to manage junk RSS feeds - search channel feature that incorporates other RSS services e.g. Feedster - allows feed storage for future use - tabbed browsers for channel navigation - built-in podcast receiver Disadvantages: - supports only Internet Explorer (embedded) - paid software ($29.95) Online Aggregators 1. Bloglines Advantages: - all major browsers supported (e.g. Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Firefox) - user-friendly especially for beginners - free, web-based aggregator - easy registration - no advertisements - contains its own directory of RSS feeds of thousands of websites - personal email account for subscribing to newsletter emails (optional) - allows privacy adjustments for personal blogs - allows saved searches - mobile version available - 10 languages supported - Additional add-on tools for automated blogrolls and subscription buttons 2. NewsGator Advantages: - free (consumer-standard version) - provides personalized news channel - allows translation of RSS articles into email format - synchronization of feeds in several devices possible - browse and search feed capabilities save time on surfing - allows keyword filtering - blog headlines - button-click automatic subscription to news feeds Disadvantage: - Outlook-based thus limited to Windows 3. My Yahoo Advantages: - Free web-based aggregator - user-friendly - customizable home page design - button-click subscription to RSS feeds - built-in directory and search tool for feeds - wide variety of feeds e.g. news (science, technology, local), weather - connects to all Yahoo features and services Disadvantage - banner advertisements There are also lightweight RSS aggregator extensions which are actually plug-ins to existing internet browsers. An example of which is Sage aggregator. Advantages: - free of charge - beginner-friendly - reeds both RSS and Atom feeds - allows feed discovery - can be assimilated to Firefox bookmark (storage and live) - allows OPML feed lists imports and exports - customizable style sheets - supports a wide range of locales e.g. Catalan, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Slovenian, etc. - easy installation Disadvantages: - good for about 12 RSS feeds - limited use to Mozilla-Firefox and Mozilla-Firefox supported browsers RSS developers promise better features in future versions of their aggregators. Microsoft is planning to include a built-in aggregator in their next Windows version. These developments are definitely something to look forward to by all internet aficionados. The Advantages of "RSS Websites" RSS -- or what is now known as "Really Simple Syndication" -- is a file format that is incorporated by Internet users in their websites to allow for 'web syndication', making their web content available in a format that can be universally understood by other people. In essence, RSS is a 'mini database' that contains headlines and descriptions (a summary or a line or two of the full article) of your web content, including hyperlinks that enable users to link back to the full article of their choice. RSS websites -- that is, websites that contain RSS 'feeds' (articles or postings) -- typically have colorful graphics to indicate to users that the specific web content is available through RSS feeds. These graphics are usually depicted by orange rectangles that are usually marked with 'RSS' or 'XML'. With its increased popularity, RSS is now being adopted and used by more website owners or publishers. Today, numerous resources are now available that aid Internet surfers (and even beginners as well) on how to set up and use RSS. Setting up RSS feeds and adding them to your website can be a simple process that does not involve a lot of time or any money. Listed below are some simple and basic steps that you might want to follow: 1. Have your web content and/or news in an RSS feed format, such as XML (appropriate and 'ready-made' feeds are also available from other sources). 2. Click the orange graphic -- this is the RSS feed icon. Take note of the URL of the RSS feed; this will be displayed in the address bar (for Internet Explorer). 3. Input the feed URL on your RSS feed creation program. 4. Click on the "Generate Feed" button. This will generate the RSS code for your web content. 5. Enter the RSS code in the appropriate place on your own website. Having created an RSS feed for your website, next comes the task of publishing your web content and news and having them displayed on other sites and headline viewers. This is made possible with the use of RSS readers or aggregators. RSS readers or news aggregators are used to view particular web contents. RSS readers contain the collection of 'feeds' or RSS files from content providers, and they are generally classified into 3 types: * Desktop RSS readers -- also known as standalone desktop application, they generally 'run' in the background and are similar to an e-mail client, collecting the feeds and refreshing items automatically as they are updated. * Web-based aggregators -- these are online services that enable users to personalize web pages, refreshing them each time the page is accessed or each time a person logs in to the service. * Plug-in aggregators/readers -- these make use of either web browsers or e-mail clients, which allow users to view RSS feeds while inside an existing program. Having an RSS-enabled website provides Internet users (especially those who are website owners) with the following benefits: * Allows users to generate up-to-date news and postings, as information and content in the RSS readers or aggregators are automatically updated each time the RSS feed is 'refreshed'. * Allows users to have control over the information that they wish to view or receive, as they can remove a feed of their choosing any time they want to. Aside from these benefits, RSS websites are also useful for people who conduct their business in the Internet, particularly in Internet or Online Marketing. 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 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.
Blog RSS Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a tool useful for saving or retaining updated information on websites that you frequently visit or websites that are your favorite. RSS utilizes an XML code which scans continuously the content or subject matter of a certain website in search for new informations then transmits the information updates by way of feeding the information to subscribers. RSS feeds are generally being utilized in blogs or news sites, though any website wanting to broadcast and publish information can use them. Once new information is sent, it will contain a headline, a little bit of text, and either a rundown or a brief review of the news or story. A link is needed be clicked upon to read further. So as to accept RSS feeds, a feed reader is needed, called an aggregator. Aggregators are widely and freely available online, and all that is needed is a bit of searching, you will be able to locate a certain interface that best interest you. What's more, RSS feeds can likewise be read and retrieved from cell phones and on PDAs. Once you encounter upon a website that you want to add or insert to the aggregator, the process can be done in two ways. Almost all sites offering an RSS feed displays an "RSS" or "XML" button in their homepage and with one click, it promptly add that particular feed to one's aggregator. Some aggregator however, requires the need to copy and then paste the URL of the feed unto the program. Whatever the method used, you can be certain that the feed will be accessible soon as you have inserted it, likewise, in just seconds, the next update can arrive. In the event that you do not anymore would want to accept or take in updates, you may simply delete or erase the feed from the aggregator. Through e-mail subscriptions, you can receive newsletters. RSS feeds on the other hand, can be more convenient in keeping up with newsletter updates since they are prompt and available in an instant; you no longer have to wait for a scheduled time or day to obtain a news summary, plus, these news will never be detained through a spam filter. RSS feeds are widely used everyday by individuals who understand and appreciate the accessibility of fast reports and news that can be readily read and only read certain updates that appeals to them. Aggregators Aggregators are popular use of feeds, having several kinds. Web aggregators or portals as they are sometimes called, create this view which is then made available in a Web page. Also, Aggregators have been incorporated into e-mail patrons, users of desktops, or dedicated and standalone software. Offering a collection of special features, such as combining more than a few related feeds in just a single view, hiding certain entries or statements that has been already viewed, and classifying entries and feeds, the aggregator is a versatile component. Why make a feed available? You will have more viewers, since now, your viewers can conveniently see your site without even going out and looking for that certain site. While at first, it may seem corrupt, it will in fact enhance the visibility of your site; this is so because users can easily keep up or keep tract with your site, to allow them to view in a way that they want to; it's more probable that guests are aware should something that is in their interest is available or accessible on your site. For instance, every month your website broadcasts a new feature. Having no feed, your viewers will always have to keep in mind to go to your site in a certain time to see if they discover something new; that is, if they can remember, and if they still have the time. However, if you supply a feed for your viewers, they can just point to their aggregator and it will instantly provide them a link along with a description of happenings or events at your site immediately. What format to choose? Syndication is very confusing as it uses a lot of formats that can usually be come across in the web. However, this can easily be solved as in general, syndicated libraries are used by aggregators which conceptualize a particular format that a feed is in, in order that they can utilize a certain syndication feed. With this, whatever format to pick is just a matter of personal preference. RSS 1.0 is far reaching, and practical should it be integrated into Semantic Web systems. RSS 2.0 is very easy and simple create by hand. And atom is an IETF Standard, does it brings constancy, stability and a natural and accepted community to support its usage. Updates on RSS Directories RSS directories are popular these days. RSS is widely used initially by news sites to allow others to syndicate their news stories. Now, a lot of other websites are using RSS. It is being used in flagging new forum headlines, auction listings, sales listings and others. The meaning of RSS is actually not clear. RSS may or may not be an acronym, actually. RSS may stand for Really Simple Syndication. But others say its Rich Site Summary and sometimes Rich Syndication Standard. The noted creator of RSS directory would be Netscape. It was released sometime in March 1999. The included a UserLand application which is called scripting news. Netscape stopped developing it, but UserLand continued doing so. Another company, RSS-DEV Working Group also released their own version. RSS directories are sites that collate all RSS links and place them in different categories for other applications to use. This is similar to web hosting, only instead of web pages, they contain RSS links. These links will pop out on the website and when you click it, you will be directed to the main source of the link. RSS poses a lot of uses for those who'd like to use the Internet for marketing or commerce. Here are the things you can do with it: Create links from their website to yours. If you are selling or promoting something, web traffic is important. The more RSS directory you upload, the more chances you have people seeing those and checking your site out. And if they have customized their sites with your RSS feeds, then they would get updated listings from your site to theirs automatically. Collating analysis. If you have a brand and you'd like to know how your competitor is doing, you may use RSS to see what they have so far. Get a directory of their product or service so you'll know first hand what they have come out with. With the data gathered you now can plan on how you can counter them. Tracking your own progress. If you can check out your competitor, of course you'd like to check out too how your business or product is going too. With an RSS directory of your own, you can know how many people are interested in what you are selling or offering. Increases productivity. Putting up RSS directories, let's say for newsletters, adds efficiency to your company. If you use RSS for sending out newsletters instead of mailing them to recipients, you'd eliminate the possibility of your letter being classified as spam by users, or being sent in a closed mail account. Increases efficiency. There are a lot of websites or news articles that could be beneficial to your brand or company. At times, you'd like to add them to your site. Without the use of RSS, you'd have to copy the entire thing down and note where you got it. If you use RSS, then the headline and part of the story shows up on your site. And this is an automatic process now. If you use RSS, you just include the directory and automatically, the headline appears without you doing much. Posting RSS directories could cost you some. But the benefits override it. Some sites even offer free RSS directory posting. If you are just starting up, you may like to check those out. The more RSS directory you have up, the more the possibility that you are sending out information to the people interested in your goods. Reason behind is that people will only get the RSS feeds that they are interested in. If they get yours, they sure are the target market. Disseminating information online has become easier with RSS. The technology provided a cost-effective way of transferring facts and figures out. Utilizing it would definitely add up to your marketing approach. With it, you have an avenue of reaching out to even more people so easily. RSS uses XML to syndicate pages. Though that sounds a little technical, there a lot of websites that has user-friendly interface to guide in building your directory. Go ahead and put up your RSS directory up now. RSS has proven to be essential. It has ceased to be an option; it has become a necessity. A Guide to RSS Aggregators 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. RSS feeds have evolved into many uses. Some uses gaining popularity are: * For online store or retail establishments: Notification of new product arrivals * For organization or association newsletters: title listings and notification of new issues, including email newsletters * Weather Updates and other alerts of changing geographic conditions * Database management: Notification of new items added, or new registered members to a club or interest group. The uses of feeds will continue to grow, because RSS aggregators make access to any information that individual users like more convenient and fun. A Guide on RSS Tools RSS is an abbreviation that has evolved into the following, depending on their versions: * RDF Site Summary (also known as RSS 0.9; the first version of RSS) * Rich Site Summary (also known as RSS 0.91; a prototype) * Really Simple Syndication (also known as RSS 2.0) Today, RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication', and it has the following 7 existing formats or versions: * 0.90 * 0.91 * 0.92 * 0.93 * 0.94 * 1.0 * 2.0 RSS tools refer to a group of file formats that are designed to share headlines and other web content (this may be a summary or simply 1 to 2 lines of the article), links to the full versions of the content (the full article or post), and even file attachments such as multimedia files. All of these data is delivered in the form of an XML file (XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language), which has the following common names: * RSS feed * Webfeed * RSS stream * RSS channel They are typically shown on web pages as an orange rectangle that usually has the letters XML or RSS in it. RSS feeds can be used to deliver any kind of information. Some of these 'feeds' include: * Blogs feed -- each blog entry is summarized as a feed item. This makes blog posts easier to scan, enabling 'visitors' to zoom in on their items of interest. * Article feed -- this alerts readers whenever there are new articles and web contents available. * Forum feed -- this allows users to receive forum posts and latest discussion topics. * Schedule feed -- this allows users (such as schools, clubs, and other organizations) to broadcast events and announce schedule changes or meeting agendas. * Discounts or Special feed -- this is used to enable users (such as retail and online stores) to 'deliver' latest specials and discounted offers. * Ego or News Monitoring -- this enables users to receive 'filtered' headlines or news that are based on a specific phrase or keyword. * Industry-specific feed -- used by technical professionals in order to market, promote, or communicate with current (and prospective) customers and clients within their specific industries. RSS feeds enable people to track numerous blogs and news sources at the same time. To produce an RSS feed, all you need is the content or the article that you want to publicize and a validated RSS text file. Once your text file is registered at various aggregators (or 'news readers'), any external site can then capture and display your RSS feed, automatically updating them whenever you update your RSS file. RSS tools are useful for sites that add or modify their contents on a regular basis. They are especially used for 'web syndication' or activities that involve regular updates and/or publications, such as the following: * News websites -- as used by major news organizations such as Reuters, CNN, and the BBC. * Marketing * Bug reports * Personal weblogs 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. These are just several of the many things that you can do with RSS. The possibilities are endless, and they are all aimed at providing you with an effective internet marketing strategy for your business. Entertainment RSS Delivered Straight Into Your Homes RSS which stands for really simple syndication is a format that is associated with the XML family of file formatting. It functions by continuously running through the websites to scan for updates. It then sends these updates to all of the people who are subscribed to these websites using a feed. This is used most often in web syndication. To be able to use an RSS feed, you need to have an aggregator, also known as a feed reader. These aggregators are available widely online, so it won't be that hard to scour the net to find the one that you're looking for. There are a variety of aggregators to choose from. Best of all is that you can download them for free. RSS feeds are often used in blogs, news, and entertainment websites. Anything that relays information to subscribers, and is often updated. These updates are then sent to all of the subscribers of these sites that carry RRS feeds. The updates are summarized, so you'd have an idea what stories they are referring to. If you are interested in the information it's relaying, you can then click on the text to get the longer version of the text. The great thing about RSS feeds, is that you can also read them through your cell phones, and they come in PDAs. Most entertainment websites carry RSS feeds such as BBC, Reuters, Boston Globe, CNN, etc. Music reviews, game news, interviews, movie stories, are also put into RSS feeds. This makes it a lot easier for fans to follow stories about their favorite movie stars, sports heroes, latest gaming news, etc. It is offered to you unadulterated, and free from annoying spam that clutters your emails. A lot of businesses also use RSS feeds to reach their customers. This allows them to directly relay information, uncorrupted, and instantaneously. As soon as you download an RSS feed, you receive the information right away. Entertainment RSS is an all in one stop. You don't have to click from website to website to get the news that you're after. Entertainment websites that carry RSS offer you the news that you need, automatically as soon as they're updated. This saves you the time and the trouble of having to scour the net for the information that you're looking for. It is easy to subscribe to entertainment RSS feed, just click the button that indicates the RSS feed. You usually have to copy the URL into your aggregator, but some RSS feeds automatically download into your reader. You can unsubscribe to an RSS feed anytime. There are some search engines that allow you to search information contained through RSS feeds. There are also feed directories that categorize RSS feeds by order of interest. This makes it easier for people to locate all of the information contained in RSS on any available topics online. Local news can also be found via RSS. So now instead of tuning into your TV sets to get the latest headlines, updates, and sporting news, you can subscribe to an RSS feed. This way, you get all of your news at once. This allows you to control the way you receive information, and enables you to receive news at your own free time. The great thing about this is that readers can read the headlines and summary, and then can choose which stories they want to follow. This gives the reader control over the content of the information they are receiving. This way, they are not bombarded by numerous advertisements and countless useless information that they don't have any use for. Individuals who have blogs with syndicated content can submit the syndicated versions of their blogs to RSS feed directories. This way, blog enthusiasts can have access to their RSS feeds. Feedster is one of the most popular search engines. You can use this search engine to find numerous entertainment articles, stories, reviews, using an RSS feed. The great thing about RSS feeds, is that you're always updated with the latest news and happenings. RSS feeds is revolutionizing the way information consumers get their content. Instead of being bombarded with a plethora of useless information, the consumers now can select & reject the material that goes into their consciousness.
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