What is RSS?
RSS (most commonly translated as “Really Simple Syndication” but sometimes “Rich Site Summary”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.
An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus meta data such as publishing dates and authorship.
Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.
RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator”, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based.
A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed’s URI – often referred to informally as a “URL” (uniform resource locator), although technically the two terms are not exactly synonymous – or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process.
The RSS reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds.
What are the benefits to having an RSS feed?
RSS is beneficial to both publishers and website visitors. To keep things simple I have listed just a few of the benefits for both publishers and website visitors.
RSS benefits for publishers:
1. Reaching new audiences through syndication
2. Improved search engine optimization
3. Easier and less expensive vehicle for communication than email.
4. Additional way to communicate with customers or potential customers.
RSS benefits for website visitors:
1. Website visitors do not have to release personal information in order to subscribe to an RSS feed.
2. 100% opt-in, users control the content they wish to receive.
3. Faster method for scanning content (saves time)
Watching Out for you One tweet at a time…
Al Ferretti and Skeeter Hansen