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What Are RSS Feeds
Copyright 2004 Sharon Housley
RSS also known as rich site summary or real simply
syndication, arrived on the scene a number of years ago,
but was only recently embraced by webmasters as a means
to effectively syndicate content. RSS Feeds provide
and content providers an avenue to provide concise
summaries to prospective readers. Thousands of
commercial web sites and blogs now publish content
summaries in an RSS feed. Each item in the feed
typically contains a headline; article summary and link
back to the online article.
As the web has become more crowded webmasters have been
The benefits of RSS feeds are not limited to webmasters,
surfers too benefit from the technology as well.
The beauty of RSS is that readers can quickly scan headlines (titles) and read articles of interest. Because the information is condensed and provided in a single location users can generally review more information in a shorter time frame.
Additional information is only a click away. Best of
all readers choose the feeds they wish to see, there is
no spam with RSS. If you are not completely thrilled
with the content appearing in a feed simply remove it
from the newsreader. The technology is a pull technology
rather than push technology, meaning the content is not
forced on the consumers, who pull the content they want
RSS feeds can be viewed in a news aggregator or
reader, which constantly updates and shows unread feeds.
I found the functionality of the newsreaders to be
similar to a simple email client. Consumers generally
enter the URL of any RSS feeds that interest them.
Topics with a common theme can be segregated into
In order to find feeds that provide niche information
can search Feedster. Feedster
rapidly growing news search engine that indexes
contained within RSS feeds. Searches for topic specific
feeds can be conducted and feeds can be retrieved for
While the benefits to users and webmasters are clear the
distribution opportunities made available to content
developers should not be overlooked. Information
contained in the RSS feed can be easily syndicated,
increasing content distribution and reach.
RSS has effectively standardized the format for content
delivery and has effectively defined the accepted
standard for content distribution and syndication. RSS
will likely rival email as a means of content
distribution in another few years. The shear simplicity
makes the technology very appealing.
Feeds exist for almost any topic consider trying these
feeds out by entering the URL in your feed reader:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc.
company specializing in
alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software
solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at
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This Page Last Updated:
October 09, 2004