A Peep into the RSS Terminology

RSS content is delivered through RSS feeds. These are simple files structured in a specific way. [A type of xml]

RSS stands for either Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. 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.

You should provide an RSS feed if you want 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.

In general, anything that you publish frequently can be offered as an RSS feed. For example in the share market, the prices of the shares are always fluctuating. People holding shares or those who are interested in that business would like to stay updated about the price of their shares. When RSS feeds are created for such fields it will be of very great use undoubtedly.

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

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.

* RDF: RDF is the mother specification of RSS.

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).

The user may see the index in a suitable viewer called RSS aggregator or reader, display the contents on a web page, or use it in any other way he thinks fit.

An aggregator, as the name suggests, is a piece of software that collects content from many websites that publish new content regularly (CNN, New York Times, Wired, etc.) provide a list of headlines of the latest content. In addition to displaying these headlines on their own websites, it is very common for publishers to make them available for syndication, so that other websites or applications can also include their headlines. When a website has an RSS feed, it is said to be “syndicated”.

The RSS aggregators come in many different forms and flavors. The most popular are desktop applications and RSS aggregation Web services.

* In the case of desktop RSS aggregators, end-users have to download them to their computers and install them there.

* In RSS aggregation Web services, on the other hand, the users can create their own accounts and then use those websites to view RSS content directly from their Web browsers.

After installing an RSS aggregator or registering at a web-based RSS aggregator web Service, the user needs to proactively add the link to your RSS feed in to the Aggregator to view your content.

When any new content item is modified or updated in the RSS feed, the user is notified of that through his RSS aggregator. The content is also immediately available to him, without having to face any SPAM filters and other obstacles on the way.

RSS being essentially a pull-content delivery channel, that is, in order to receive content via RSS the end-users need to subscribe to the RSS feeds they desire. Content cannot be delivered to people who have not granted permission to be contacted by you. At the same time, the other side of the coin is also true! The user who had given permission once can revoke it instantly, taking away your capability of communicating to them.

This fact makes the marketers and publishers more alert and force them to send only relevant information to their subscribers. Therefore, the chance of the user stopping the subscription suddenly is very remote. He is assured of receiving only information that is of use and interest to him. This is why exactly RSS is very powerful.