If you are a person who spends a lot of time online, then there is a good chance that you might be aware of RSS feeds.
RSS feeds is a method of keeping up the with different websites and blogs. But, are you aware of what exactly this technology is and how it can prove to be beneficial for you as a content publisher as well as a customer?
Introduction to RSS
RSS feeds came into existence in the late 1990s. It was originated to allow the content of the website to be syndicated for utilization on other websites. It is the most popular standardized format which is used to publish the regularly changing content. It is also used to publish video content, blog comments, calendar events, and forum posts.
RSS is known for revolutionizing the way in which the audience interacts with the online content. Because of the presence of RSS feeds, there is no need to check back every day on a website to find out whether it has been updated or not. The audience just has to subscribe to the RSS feed just like newspaper subscription and then they will be able to read all the updates related to the website which will be delivered to them through RSS feeds which is known as a feed reader.
RSS feeds are much more beneficial to the owners or publishers of a website as they can make the audience aware of their updated content promptly by submitting feeds to numerous RSS and XML directories.
How does RSS Feed work?
RSS feeds are generally regarded as those simple text files which are submitted to feed directories in order to allow the subscribers to get aware of the updated content in a very short span of time.
With the help of a feed reader, the updated content can be accumulated so that the subscribers can view it more easily. A feed reader is also known as feed aggregator is an effective way to view your accumulated feeds all at a time through one interface.
Most of the websites nowadays set up their own RSS feed. If you too want to set up your own RSS feed, follow the below steps:
- You can initiate with RSS feed by downloading RSS reader which is also known as an aggregator. If you search online, you may find various free and commercial extensions, readers and applications. You can choose between them and download any one of them on your mobile phone or computer.
- You can also visit your favorite or most popular websites and can look for RSS link. If you are not able to see it, what you have to do is to type the name of the website plus RSS in the search engine.
- The next step is to copy the URL to the RSS feed for the website.
- Paste that URL into your downloaded RSS reader.
- You can repeat these steps with all the sites that you visit on a regular basis.
At times, suggestions are given by the readers for the related websites which have RSS feeds available with them. In order to utilize the RSS reader, you have to log into your RSS reader web page or you can initiate your RSS application or software. After that, you will be able to scan all the web feeds immediately. Just like emails, you can arrange and manage the RSS feeds into the different folders. You can also set alarms and sounds whenever there are some updates in a specific web feed.
Causes that you might like RSS
You get the subscription of a particular feed once you copy the URL of RSS and paste it into your reader. You will be getting the results as long as you do not unsubscribe from it. Following are some of the reasons you might enjoy RSS feeds:
With the help of RSS feed, you can receive news related to your favorite celebrity, country, or sports team.
If you love to change your computer or mobile wallpaper daily, then you can use RSS feeds to receive the latest photos from the famous photographers around the web.
- Hurricane watch
If you live in a hurricane prone area and want to get daily updates related to hurricane alerts and tips of evacuation, then RSS feed is a completely useful and effective tool.
- Hobbies and interests
You can receive advice related to your hobbies and interests directly on your computer or mobile screen regardless of whether you are a dog trainer, motorcyclist, a skier, or a pottery enthusiast.
You can use RSS Feed for watching popular views and blogs if you are helping a candidate to get elected.
- Reading blogs of your friends and family
You can directly receive the latest blog posts on the screen of your loved ones who live around the globe. This is most useful for those families where one of their family members is in the military.
- Information regarding the exchange rates of the currency
RSS feeds can help you to find out the best time to buy the currency of a particular country that you want to visit.
Some widespread RSS Readers
To find out which RSS reader works best for you, it is imperative to test them. There is a variety of RSS readers/ aggregators that provide free as well as upgraded versions.
Some of the popular RSS readers are:
- Feeder for Android, Chrome, and IOS
- Reader 3 for Mac and IOS
- Panda is a Chrome extension, web, IOS
- Feedly for the web, IOS, and Android.
Sources of RSS Feed and their sampling
Globally, there are heaps of RSS feeds that offer subscription. Let’s take a look on few of them
- Wired RSS Feeds
- BBC news feeds
- CNN RSS
- HFL Football news feeds
- Hurricane Watch news feeds
How RSS Feeds can help you and what you can do with them?
Once you are all ready to get started with RSS, you will come to know about the different ways that can be used by you to use RSS Feeds.
Take a look
- If you are a YouTube user, you will appreciate it. With the help of RSS feeds you can follow your favorite channel, director, and key phrase. For example, if you have a keen interest in Family Guy clips then, your feed would appear to be like:
After that, you just have to drop that in the reader through the subscribe tab and you are all set to go.
- If you are interested in Google news but love specific news, then you can generate a specialized Google News alert that will be delivered to you through an RSS feed.
- There is an RSS Feed which offers subscription in any tag in the social bookmarking site Reddit. The may be popular, Apple or freeware.
- All the Digg fans, through an RSS feed can get the subscription of any tag or featured page like a homepage.
- The famous Food Network also has an RSS feed known as Food Network Highlights. All the foodies will be delivered the recipes and tips and the other best things related to this stellar website.
- If you are an unemployed person who is looking forward to a job, then you can craft your personal RSS feeds at popular website Monster.com. You can also utilize their pre-programmed RSS feeds. If you want to craft your own RSS feed, you can simply search for your requirements and then on the basis of the results, subscribe through the feed reader that suits you the best.
RSS Feeds are most commonly used for:
- Getting weather alerts and other alerts related to climatic conditions
- Getting notifications related to a new member in a group or addition of new items to a database
- Getting notifications regarding the arrival of new products in a store
- Getting notifications related to issue of newsletters, including email newsletters.
What are the problems that can be solved via RSS Feeds?
Most of the customers are interested in those websites who have an ability to change their content on an unpredictable agenda. Some of these types of websites include news websites, pages of product information, information pages related to community and religious organization, medical websites, and weblogs. If your target audience has to repetitively check the websites in order to check whether there is any fresh content or not can be very monotonous and can lead to increasing bounce rates.
The early solution that was made to this problem was notifying the client via email. But inappropriately, when a person receives too many email notifications from different websites, they generally get confused and these notifications are more likely to be taken as spam.
To notify the customers of changed or fresh content, RSS Feeds is a better way. Your clients can handle the notifications of alterations made to different websites more easily. Hence, the results are presented in an organized way which is different from emails.
If you are stressed while taking decisions regarding whether you should implement RSS feed or not, you can count on the following advantages served by RSS feeds.
RSS feeds helps in saving your time. The subscribers of RSS can rapidly scan RSS feeds. It eliminates the need for visiting different websites one by one. After that, you as a subscriber can click on any item of your interest in order to get more information.
- Timely in nature
One of the best features of RSS feeds is that these are timely i.e., the feeds have the capacity to get updated automatically whenever a new information is posted. Hence, the information received by you through the RSS reader or aggregator is timely.
- Free of any spam
RSS Feeds are free of all spams. In order to reach the information or content in which you might be interested, you don’t have to stress about wading through a large number of spammed contents.
- Options available
As an RSS subscriber, you can choose what you like to see and what is the information that you want to receive. You will have full control and also there is no need to provide personal credentials to get the subscription.
- It is easy to unsubscribe
If you want to unsubscribe any RSS feed, you can do it easily. If you are no more interested in an information or do not like the information contained in the RSS feed, you can simply eradicate that particular RSS feed from your RSS reader or aggregator.
- Substitute channel of communication
You can use RSS feeds as an alternate communication channel for your business. You will have the opportunity of connecting with more customers as you use more channels.
- Enlarges audience via syndication
The most important feature of RSS is that it is exclusively designed for syndication. Syndication refers to the publication by others. If you have a widespread syndication, it can increase your reach and can flourish your business.
- Helps in increasing backlinks
The number of backlinks to the original website tends to increase when an RSS feed is syndicated. More incoming and additional links help your website to rank better in search engines.
- Helps in increasing productivity
As your audience will be able to scan the new and fresh posts and headlines more quickly, it will increase the productivity of your website. Another reason for the increase in productivity is that people will spend more time on your website on the items of their interest.
- Competitive in nature
Whether or not you implement RSS feeds, your contenders definitely will. To stand still in the competitive market, one way is to implement RSS feeds and another web 2.0 technology. This way you can prevent your competition to move ahead of you.
If you do not have an RSS feed then you are ignoring an opportunity of keeping your current customers and the target audience updated with the information related to your business, brand, products, and services. RSS feeds should be utilized as a free tool of promotion. When the users are getting regular information regarding the changes and the fresh content, this will help you to bring more traffic to your website.