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:
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.
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.
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.
One of the most popular features of Internet portals, websites, pages and even emails is a frame that features an organized list of news headlines and periodic updates from other web sources. Really Simple Syndication, formerly “Rich Site Summary” or simply, RSS makes this possible.
Most users visit a lot of websites whose content continually change, such as news sites, community organization or professional association information pages, medical websites, product support pages, and blogs. As Internet surfing became an intrinsic part of business and leisure, it became important to get rid of the very tedious task of repeatedly returning to each website to see updated content.
RSS easily distributes information from different websites to a wider number of Internet users. RSS aggregators are programs that use RSS to source these updates, and then organize those lists of headlines, content and notices for easy reading. It allows computers to automatically retrieve and read the content that users want, then track changes and personalize lists of headlines that interests them.
The specially made computer programs called “RSS aggregators” were created to automatically find and retrieve the RSS feeds of pre-selected internet sites on behalf of the user and organize the results accordingly. (RSS feeds and aggregators are also sometimes referred to as “RSS Channels” and “RSS Readers”.)
The RSS aggregator is like a web browser for RSS content. HTML presents information directly to users, and RSS automatically lets computers communicate with one another. While users use browsers to surf the web then load and view each page of interest, RSS aggregators keeps track of changes to many websites. The titles or descriptions are links themselves and can be used to load the web page the user wants.
RSS starts with an original Web site that has content made available by the administrator. The website creates an RSS document and registers this content with an RSS publisher that will allow other websites to syndicate the documents. The Web site also produces an RSS feed, or channel, which is available together with all other resources or documents on the particular Web server. The website will register the feed as an RSS document, with a listed directory of appropriate RSS publishers.
An RSS feed is composed of website content listed from newest to oldest. Each item usually consists of a simple title describing the item along with a more complete description and a link to a web page with the actual content being described. In some instances, the short description or title line is the all the updated information that a user wants to read (for example, final games scores in sports, weblogs post, or stock updates). Therefore, it is not even necessary to have a web page associated with the content or update items listed — sometimes all the needed information that users need would be in the titles and short summaries themselves.
The RSS content is located in a single file on a webpage in a manner not very different from typical web pages. The difference is that the information is written in the XML computer code for use by an RSS aggregator and not by a web user like a normal HTML page.
There are 2 main parts that are involved in RSS syndication, namely: the source end and the client end.
The client end of RSS publishing makes up part of the system that gathers and uses the RSS feed. For example, Mozilla FireFox browser is typically at the client end of the RSS transaction. A user’s desktop RSS aggregator program also belongs to the client end.
Once the URL of an RSS feed is known, a user can give that address to an RSS aggregator program and have the aggregator monitor the RSS feed for changes. Numerous RSS aggregators are already preconfigured with a ready list of RSS feed URLs for popular news or information websites that a user can simply choose from.
There are many RSS aggregators that can be used by all Internet users. Some can be accessed through the Internet, some are already incorporated into email applications, and others run as a standalone program inside the personal computer.
RSS feeds have evolved into many uses. Some uses gaining popularity are:
For online store or retail establishments: Notification of new product arrivals
For organization or association newsletters: title listings and notification of new issues, including email newsletters
Weather Updates and other alerts of changing geographic conditions
Database management: Notification of new items added, or new registered members to a club or interest group.
The uses of feeds will continue to grow, because RSS aggregators make access to any information that individual users like more convenient and fun.