Confused about RSS? It really not as confusing as you might think. Discover the basics.
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Undoubtedly, you have visited various websites as you search the Internet for information, and you see icons or read messages that invite you to subscribe to the site’s “RSS Feed”. But you may not really understand what an RSS feed is.
RSS stands for “really simple syndication”. As you surf the Internet, you invariably find a number of sites that have information that you would like to see more of or which you wish to track. The problem you face is having to manually go to the sites checking for any new updates.
RSS is a technology that allows you to check new information on the web sites you’re interested in right from your desktop browser, without having to visit the site itself. RSS solves the problem of having to manually visit and check a site for new information by bringing the web pages to you instead of you going to them.
In order to use RSS, you simply need to have access to a computer and an Internet connection. You also need an RSS reader or an aggregator. The RSS reader will display a headline of the new posting along with a brief synopsis of the related content. You read the synopsis and if it interests you, you click on the headline, which will take you directly to the web page it is published on. You can have as many RSS subscriptions as you want.
As a webmaster, you can use RSS to promote your own website. When used properly, RSS can be a potent marketing tool. You enlist other sites to subscribe to your RSS feed, and display your updated content on their home pages. This allows you to reach new audiences to which you would not otherwise have access, and helps to spread your information exponentially.
RSS is simple to offer (no pun intended) and equally simple for your subscribers to use. Because of its simplicity, it is sometimes a preferred marketing method when compared to email newsletter marketing. Many people are choosing to subscribe to RSS feeds for instant information rather than subscribe to email newsletters.
RSS is a convenient form of information distribution, and because people can easily subscribe or unsubscribe at any time, it’s a tool with which they’re very comfortable. The benefit to you is that as a webmaster, you get your web site broadcast to potentially millions of people through RSS, and you can also use RSS as a means to get fresh updated content for your site too.