Complete Geek Boutique

Nothing in cyberspace is sacred


Even with all the Web sites on the Net dealing with RSS (Real Simple Syndication), most have their particular angle, or ax to grind. Many of them are just plain fluff.

This, therefore, is an effort at consolidating RSS issues and advances, publishing available sources of RSS, publishing instruments to read and/or publish RSS, and offering a neutral place where people can freely exchange ideas.

This blog is not intended to be a “be-all, end-all” source, but it’s a step in the right direction toward getting people to realize RSS’ potential.

Why should I use RSS?

The use of RSS by a website has several benefits. Below are a few:

  • It’s cheap. It doesn’t cost the publisher anything.
  • Everyone who subscribes to a RSS feed can get it (even if it rains), publishers don’t have to manage a huge e-mail database, and subscribers can “cancel” at any time.
  • Publishers need not be concerned about spam filters, since everything in the feed comes from their site. Subscribers know this, and RSS doesn’t therefore fall under the Canned Spam Act.
  • It brings fresh content to a site with a minimum of effort by a publisher. It can also be syndicated, which, when used by other sites, drives traffic back to the publisher’s site. RSS can be used in big chunks or small bits. It can even be used to fill entire web pages in the style of your site — AND in html format!
  • It can be used to publish a site’s “products” cheaply to potential “customers.” You can even use your site’s database to publish a RSS catalog, complete with prices, photos and descriptions — and fresh content (like an update in prices) is continually served to those who subscribe to the feed.
  • You can enhance search-engine rankings by using relevant keywords in each feed. For example, you can include relevant keywords in the feed’s channel title and description. Each feed item should also contain a unique title and description that contains pertinent keywords. By hosting your own feeds, you also benefits from all the links back to your site from RSS search engines and others.
  • You can use RSS to publish rich media content, such as audio and video material. RSS also drives traffic to your site from folks who find interesting content in your feed and click on that feed item.
  • RSS can be used on company or institutional websites to keep employees informed of the latest changes in policies, promotions, birthdays, et cetera.
  • It’s a great way to reach new audiences/customers. Further, subscribers need not give out personal information to receive feeds, and subscribers have total control over what they want to see. Not only that, but it can be a timesaver for those who want to get information quickly and move on to something else.

Are you beginning to see uses for your web site?

Next: RSS: Read headlines without the ads

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