- What is RSS? Defining: Let’s see how Wikepedia defines it.
(1) RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.
(2) An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically.
- Subscribing. You need the RSS button on your blog because you want to make it as easy as possible for others to subscribe to your blog content. The icon or symbol is generally recognized as an orange dot with two semi-circles, but it may also be in another color. Depending on your blogging platform, this may involve simply adding an html code that has already been written.
It’s important to make sure that the symbol is easily seen by your readers, and I was reminded of this earlier today by one of my readers. She commented that she liked my blog but felt that I would benefit by adding an RSS feed button so readers can subscribe easily. The button is currently on my website but is one of many at the end of each post under “Share and Enjoy.” I’ll be movingit to a more visible location. Thanks, Sherika.
- Benefiting from RSS: The primary benefit is that it saves time as it allows for syndication. By subscribing to your feed, it allows readers to receive updates of your blog posts without having to actually visit your website. They can do this for several websites and it will take them far less time to read the updates in a Feed Reader rather than visiting each website individually. This is also one way that you can utilize your time more efficiently – subscribe to have your favorite publishers’ content feeding into one location. At the same time if your reader wants to comment on your blog, he or she would just click on the post to be taken to the original article.
- Choosing a Reader: Deciding on a Feed Reader will be determined in part by the type of web browser that you use.
- My favorite is Google Reader – www.google.com/reader. When you subscribe to a feed, Google will give you the option of adding it to your Google Homepage or adding it to Google Reader.
- Yahoo at http://my.yahoo.com allows you to personalize your Homepage and aggregate your RSS feeds there.
- www.bloglines.com has special features that allow you to manage your own feeds as well as add them to your sidebar on your website.
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your readers to navigate your website. You also want them to have ready access to your updates and by adding the RSS icon you will be allowing them to do this easily and efficiently.
Please share your successes with having the RSS feed button on your blog by adding your comments.