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RSS, ATOM, and Related Technologies Forum

RSS feeds
advantages of RSS feeds

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Msg#: 3430977 posted 8:21 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello all

What I know about RSS is that one can update one's site regularly(especially if you have a news section) without too many hassles. I have looked up many RSS tutorial sites but I have not been able to understand how it actually works.......THE CONCEPT.

And moreover does using RSS affects the site's ranking, either directly or indirectly?



WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3430977 posted 11:26 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

rss is essentially like news syndication and your rss feeds are xml documents on your site which provide descriptions of available channels and resources on your site.
content consumers and providers can "subscribe" to your feed and use it to provide access to resources on your site but in their own format and style.


Msg#: 3430977 posted 7:10 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

All web sites should be rss based. Not just news sites but all sites.

The question is: what are developers waiting for?

As a developer, I have started to convert all my sites to RSS. Sites that fail to convert will die off in the next 5 years.

RSS technology is a great tool for Content Management and developers like us are taking advantage of it.


WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3430977 posted 12:17 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld xmlman.
All web sites should be rss based.

Could you explain this in a bit more detail? I don't think I've ever seen an RSS based website before. RSS may be a component of a website, but I'm not sure how one would base a site on it.


Msg#: 3430977 posted 9:33 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, all sites can be RSS based and it is very simple.

First, to convert your site to RSS based, you must be a programmer who have some experience with Content Management software,

Most sites are still hand made in HTML (the schoolboy way) or some claim to be database driven when it is just made of scripts/codes parsing data from databases.

Content Management software has been around for sometimes now and many web sites are not even taking advantage of it. With a Content Management software a site owner simply log in to an admin area to add the site contents and manage the site.

Take note: I said "add content". Most site contents do come from internal sources or external sources.

RSS takes the Content Management to a higher level. RSS data can originate internally or externally. So, when a Site is RSS based, and it also incorporated with content management tool, it derives data internally and externally via RSS Feed.

How it works:

- The internal feed are written by a feed writer (in xml, .rss, .atom formats).
- The external feed are sourced from external feed sources/feed channel. (in xml, .rss, .atom formats). With an add feed feature.
- The above RSS application is incorporated into a Content management software and that is all.

With the above powerful tool, a site will have content management system, with built in RSS Writer, RSS reader and the end product is a site that looks and fell like an RSS aggregator.

In this way, RSS feed generated internally can be offered to the public on FREE subscriptions and the externally sourced feed can always be added and deleted and also available for the public to read.

Although, this RSS technology is currently and mostly used by news sites such as Google News, Yahoo News, CNN, Press Illustrated, Fox News, BBC, AP etc.

Sites that will benefit from the RSS technology are not just news sites but Estate, Hospital, Educational, banks, Doctors, Engineers, travel, hotels and many more.

[edited by: bill at 9:56 am (utc) on Aug. 28, 2007]
[edit reason] see sticky [/edit]


WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3430977 posted 10:16 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think you may be confusing some of the terminology. RSS is for syndication purposes. It's basically a text file that is read by aggregators.

A web page is normally HTML or XHTML and is displayed in a web browser. An RSS file will not display in a web browser like a web page will.

Content management systems are great tools, but they're not for everybody. Not all sites need a CMS.

Many of these CMSs of which you speak do indeed generate RSS feeds. They also generate RDF, ATOM, and XML feeds at the same time. However, the pages they generate for the web are normally HTML or XHTML. So in essence they are using databases to manage the content. These sites are not RSS based, but data based. The data is output in multiple formats.


Msg#: 3430977 posted 12:31 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bill, I am not here to define RSS or what they do. The definition of RSS can be found on Google for novices.

You said: "It's basically a text file that is read by aggregators".

That is funny. I am not surprised you said that because the contents of an RSS files is probably the last thing anyone want to look at. It looks like a load of junks.

Itīs not just a text file...my friend. Those files may look to you like a text file but it holds a whole loads of data that a programmer can manipulate in many ways to output itīs contents on a web page. That is simply what aggregators or feed readers do.

With this in mind, I am not talking about RSS text file or what it does but the different technology and ways of manipulating or processing the data in it.

RSS Text File - how was the text file created? - By Feed Writer
Feed Reader/Aggregator - how was the feed reader and aggregator created? - By programmer (developing tools that read the rss file.

Feed Writer + Feed Reader + RSS Text File + Content Managament tool = RSS based web site.

When people hear about Aggregators or feed readers they think it is something new. They are not. In a lay mans terms, what they do is simply process the RSS data files and the result is what you see on the web pages.

So if the Aggregators and feed readers can do it, so also can a content management tool be incorporated with the RSS features (mini aggregator/reader/writer) to do the same to produce RSS based web sites.

Take for example, on a doctorīs web site, there are very little information about health and medical information and researches. To add these information manually into a database, the site owners would need months/years, copy/paste thousands of data to web pages and the database may even crash (...joking). With RSS, the site could publish millions of selected medical information in a few web pages via RSS feed and the site owner with no experience in web design can manage the entire processes via a content management tool.

RSS simply eliminates the need for self-produced web pages, unprofessional or poorly produced web contents, painstaking updating, poor/unreliable information etc.

RSS based web sites will have constantly updated information, authentic contents, varieties of information, automation, less or no need for a web designer, little technical experience, low maintenance cost, The benefits are endless.

Most companies now require candidates with RSS experience when recruiting programmers/web developers. Why?

It would not be helpful discussing these issue theoretically unless you take a practical tour of a Live working demo. Go to <snip> and request for the Admin login info via email...you will be amazed.

[edited by: bill at 12:49 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2007]


WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3430977 posted 12:36 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think you've mixed up the concept of what an RSS file's function is. It's a way to syndicate your content. RSS isn't content. It consists of content from your site...just like the HTML/XHTML pages of your site.

To get back to the original topic...

I think phranque's explanation was right on the money. RSS files perform the function of summarizing your site's content for syndication. Normally your RSS file would contain only recently updated content.

does using RSS affects the site's ranking

It will certainly affect your site's ranking in the blog and feed search engines. Whether it will have much of an impact in the big SEs like Google, Yahoo, and MSN is debatable. There may be a benefit due to the extra exposure an RSS feed can give, but for the most part that seems to be negligible. Adding an RSS fees is no surefire way to increase your SE rankings.

However, adding an RSS feed to your site does have benefits outside the SEs. They help get your content out on the web in front of more people. They also help your visitors to keep tabs on your site.

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