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What is "RSS" and Do I Need It?

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by TrainedGuy
What is "RSS"  and Do I Need It?

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commented by CheeryGrin
RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is the talk around the net these days because of its many benefits. However many people are not really clear exactly what RSS is?
Here is a definition of what RSS(Real Simple Syndication) "IS" in plain English for those of you who are NEW to it and for those of you who are still a little bit confused about it and its uses.

RSS is an Acronym. RSS stands for  "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary". RSS content is delivered through RSS feeds. These are simple files structured in a specific way. [A type of xml] The XML file is the format used for distributing YOUR news headlines via the Web, which is known as "Syndication".

RSS files (which are also called RSS feeds or channels) simply contain a list of items. Usually, each item contains a title, summary, and a link to a URL. RSS files look a lot like HTML code. . It is up to the user to use this information in any way that he wants.

"RSS" is simply a technology that distributes YOUR information (whatever it might be -- ex. Articles, Special Offers, Product Reviews, Resource Announcements) by syndicating it across the net.

 An RSS Feed is the way that your information or content can be delivered instantly to the desktop of a subscriber, by passing email and email filters.

This "Syndication" is where the TRUE power of RSS is unleashed, getting your message or information across the web in an INSTANT to websites, your subscribers and/or readers.

There are 2 main components of a RSS feed.

•    Channel: A channel is the total collection of items you wish to highlight in your site. There is exactly one channel per RSS file.
•    Item: Item is a single thing you wish to highlight from your site. There is at least one, but no more than 15 items per channel. But it is better to limit to 6 items per channel.

For example – you may create a RSS feed about all articles on your web site. That is, articles covering different topics in one RSS feed.

Then the channel will contain information about the feed (“Read articles on various subjects”), the location (web site address or URL) and a short description of the content you have written about.

There will be multiple items in the RSS Feed. Each item will have information about one article (the title, author, category, short description and the URL where the article may be found).

In general, anything that you publish frequently can be offered as an RSS feed.

Soon, you will find online retailers and other catalog companies also offering RSS feeds of their product range.

To increase your web presence, promote your online business, and increase web traffic
you should invest in providing an RSS feed for your blog or website . In this way you will be able to distribute your information to a vast and fast-growing community of users, who are more interested in knowing about your topic. In general, people who write articles or publish newsletters benefit the most. Most blog software allows you to offer RSS feed of the blog posts. You can also offer your press releases through an RSS feed.

Once you have set up your RSS feed you need to submit it to the many RSS feed Directories and submission site available to increase your exposure. Good examples of these are FeedForAll and Technorati. Do a search for RSS submission sites in a search engine and you will find many places to gain great exposure for your RSS feeds.

It is important to submit your RSS feeds to as many submission sites as possible. To do this manually is quite time consuming and labour intensive. I would recommend automating this process investing in RSS submission software such as RSS Announcer.

It is worthwhile looking seriously at RSS technology as it is an impressive tool to use to significantly benefit you in your internet marketing and website exposure.

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