The first version of RSS was released in 1999, however, it has taken several years and many transformations to gain the popularity it enjoys today. Per Wikipedia, RSS “uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video.” It uses a web syndication format extended from XML that makes it possible to syndicate lists of hyperlinks and other information. Users can use this metadata to decide if they want to follow the link. Via RSS users’ computers can pull and present information personalized to their interests.
Simply stated, from the entrepreneur’s standpoint, RSS allows your documents, called a web feed or channel, to be syndicated and automatically distributed to your subscribers. Your viewers will appreciate that they will receive information from your site without going out of their way to visit. You decide what information is syndicated and whether it is protected by access control and you can retain copyright on your content.
RSS is commonly used by bloggers, news sources and retail stores. It is an excellent way for them to advertise new products and send new posts and breaking news immediately. They don’t have to wait for customers to visit their site. RSS enables them to be “in your face” constantly. Anything updated on a regular basis can be offered as a feed. RSS offers another great opportunity: others can post your content on their site, increasing its distribution and traffic to your site.
Providing an RSS feed on your website will increase your traffic and promote your business. It will ensure your information is widely distributed with little effort on your part or the part of your followers.
Creating a feed for your site is fairly simple. Most blog platforms create feeds automatically. If you are not using a blog platform, it is easiest to use a software package to avoid having to write XML by hand. Some platforms available are feedforall.com, Blogger.com and WordPress. There are many others. All sites have easy-to-use instructions that let you create and manage your feeds.
Keep the following in mind when developing your feeds:
- Plan to give consistent and quality information on a regular basis.
- Ensure your technological assets are suitable for the task.
- Ensure your have full-time access to technical support.
- Place feeds in every possible location to maximize your coverage.
- Have a plan to assess the success of your program.
- Keep a close watch on your program and make necessary adjustments to keep up with this quickly growing and changing technology.
RSS is an easy and powerful way to make your content accessible to a wide audience. It can boost your traffic and increase your web presence and, most importantly, your business will grow faster. If you are a blogger, internet marketer or webmaster, using RSS technology will significantly benefit your progress and success.