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:
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
• 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.
- 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. If you want to promote your feed subscription, use a big RSS icon to attract visitor’s attention and encourage subscription. We have great RSS icons, free to download.
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. If you don’t want to miss any of our future articles and tutorials, please subscribe to our RSS feed.
Guest post by Terry Leslie.