Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Think of it as a distributable “What’s New” for your site. Originated by UserLand in 1997 and subsequently used by Netscape to fill channels for Netcenter, RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites.

RSS solves myriad problems webmasters commonly face, such as increasing traffic, and gathering and distributing news. RSS can also be the basis for additional content distribution services.

RSS is the hottest thing in Web communication. It powers many popular applications such as weblogs, knowledge management networks, and news syndication.

Weblogging, a term coined by Jorn Barger in December 1997, is one of the most popular and fast growing applications of RSS. A blog is someone’s personal dated ‘log’ frequently updated with new information about a particular subject or range of subjects.RSS is changing the world of publishing news and searching for news.

RSS File Format: RSS defines an XML grammar (a set of HTML-like tags) for sharing news. Each RSS text file contains both static information about your site, plus dynamic information about your new stories, all surrounded by matching start and end tags.

Each story is defined by an tag, which contains a headline TITLE, URL, and DESCRIPTION.

RSS Contains:

• Blogs Feed Many blogs are catalogued in an RSS feed, with each blog entry summarized as a feed item. This makes it easy for visitors to scan blog posts for items of interest.

• Article Feed Articles are often placed into feeds to alert readers when new articles and content are available. The feed entry is typically an article summary or introduction. Readers can then ascertain if the article is of interest and read further.

• Forum Feed Many forums now have add-ons that allow participants to receive forum posts via RSS. The RSS feeds often will show the latest discussion topics; if users are interested they simply click to enter the forum to participate in the discussion. As the topic is updated they will see new entries in the RSS feed.

• Schedule Feed Schools, clubs and organizations will often use feeds to communicate meeting times, places and events that might be occurring. The RSS feeds are often used to publicize events, notify the community of schedule changes or meeting agendas.

• Discounts / Specials Feed Retail and online stores have begun using RSS feeds to deliver their latest specials and discounted offers. Some online retailers have taken this a step further, allowing user to create their own feeds based on keywords or phrases.

RSS feeds can be used by realtors to communicate the time and location for open houses, announce new property listings or promote decreased mortgage rates. Content feeds can also be used by universities to communicate sports scores or event schedules. Computer service professionals can create feeds to notify clients of potential security breaches, virus risks or outbreaks. Ultimately, RSS is molded to meet the communication needs of many sectors. rsswire.net RSS can benefit your business and supplement your communication needs.

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