Typically, RSS feeds contain news
headlines and content summaries. The content summaries contain just
enough information without overwhelming the reader with superfluous
details. If the reader is interested and wants additional information
they can click on the item in the feed, accessing the website which
contains additional details. RSS readers aggregate multiple feeds,
making it easy for individuals to quickly scan information contained
within each feed. Feeds are generally themed, allowing users to
opt-in to feeds that are of interest.
The big benefit to RSS is that individuals opt-in
to content of interest, totally controlling the flow of information
that they receive. If the quality of the content in the feed declines,
users simply remove the feed from their RSS reader and they will
not receive any additional updates from that source. The RSS reader
acts as an aggregator, allowing users to view and scan multiple
content streams in a timely fashion.
RSS is a great supplemental communication method that does not burden
the publisher with maintaining lists or following strict privacy
guidelines. RSS feeds are compiled according to the user's choices,
removing any burden that is placed on publishers of email newsletters.
Publishers no longer need to be concerned with spam, privacy policies,
and age guidelines.
Publishers using RSS as a communication vehicle are able to create
keyword-rich, themed content, establishing trust, reputation, and
ongoing communication with current and prospective customers.
What Kind of Information Can be Delivered in RSS Feeds?
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.
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.
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.
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 users to create their own feeds
based on keywords or phrases.
For example, this service will generate a URL than
can be entered into a news reader. The feed is updated each time
an item is added to Amazon that meets the specified criteria or
keywords - Amazon Search Feed - http://www.oxus.net/amazon/
Ego / News Monitoring
Companies or individuals interested in receiving headline news based
on a specific brand or keyword can use RSS feeds to monitor news
For example, users can use the following tool to create a feed that
will allow them to receive filtered news from Google News. They
will only receive items related to a specific keyword or phrase
they setup - http://www.justinpfister.com/gnewsfeed.php
Industry-Specific RSS Feed Uses Include:
Technical professionals in specific industries have also developed
RSS feeds as way to market, promote or communicate within their
specific industries. In many cases, this has expanded their reach
and increased communication with current and prospective customers
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. Consider how RSS can benefit
your business and supplement your communication needs.
RSS feed creation tool for publishers interested in
creating fresh content - FeedForAll - http://www.feedforall.com
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net
and FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com .