What is RSS All About?

You may have heard or seen “RSS” around the internet from time to time as you browse around your favorite websites. So what is RSS? RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering frequently changing web content to its users (you). Many news websites, blogs, shopping sites and other online publishers syndicate their content via RSS Feed to whoever would like the latest news from that site. Basically, RSS publishes frequently updated works from a website-such as blog entries, news headlines, sports news, audio, and video-in a standardized format. Some do this weekly, daily, or even every minute.

RSS makes life much easier on the people who regularly use the web. It allows you to stay tuned by retrieving the latest content from the sites you like the best and are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site one by one Sherry Dyson . One main advantage is that you get total privacy, by not needing to join each site’s email newsletter and getting tons of spam mail. The number of sites offering RSS feeds is growing rapidly, so take advantage of this.

Feed Reader or News Aggregator software’s allow you to grab the RSS feeds from various sites and display them for you to read and use. It’s like putting the best articles from all your favorite magazines on one page.

Once you have your Feed Reader, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the list of feeds your Feed Reader checks. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available.

One of the great secrets of the Web is that with a killer online press center, you’ll be able to attract many more editors and reporters to your company Web site, and generate many more stories about your firm in the news media.

The trick to putting together such an online presence is knowing how to trigger story ideas, knowing how to relentlessly promote what you’re offering, and being sure to post the equivalent of a neon ‘welcome’ sign for members of the press who stop by.

“News publicity costs you nothing,” says Thomas Wong, author of “101 Ways To Boost Your Web Traffic.” “It often produces better results than advertising, because people trust news articles more than sales ads. Press releases often lead to personal interviews on the phone or TV or radio appearances, which can make you and your Web site very popular.”

In fact, there are so many tactics and new Web technologies available for courting the news media, building a killer press center on your company Web site can become an ever more sophisticated, ever more free publicity generating pursuit.

There has been a shift. It is still happening but the shift is taking place from traditional news exchange towards social media. Although it may feel comforting sitting down reading a newspaper, there is less immediate gratification. Social media can bring instantaneous results for almost every news question.

Blogs, microblogs (like Twitter), social networks, streaming video, discussion forums – they all bring news. The quality and accuracy may, of course, vary. But where else can you find such a rich source of up-to-the-minute news? Even TV cannot bring this is the same way.

And the multiplicity of available platforms is interesting. A recent survey showed that 92% in the US use more than one platform for their news updates.

What’s the importance of all this? It is an awesome change ripe for opportunity. This opportunity is one which businesses would do well to heed as it is not going away any time soon and will involve your competitors as well as your customers.

No longer are we “fed” news (will the word “newsfeed” become obsolete?). We “access” news. We can personalize the exact news we wish to be informed about. And, furthermore, we can dictate the extent and depth of that access.

The biggest change is that we can now react, interact and personalize with our data. We can respond, question, ask for more information and challenge opinions like never before. These challenges can include those formerly seen in the relative privacy of customer service – now your conversation MIGHT be seen and heard throughout many different platforms. If you are not there to join in then the conversation will happen without you.

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