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What to put in new RSS feed?
Questions from an RSS newbie
borntobeweb




msg:3461545
 3:37 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi all, i'm planning to add an RSS feed to a website for an org that puts up events on a regular basis. The website has a separate page for each event, a couple of article series that are updated on a weekly basis, a news page, and some resource pages that get updated once in a while.

I'm new to RSS so i'm wondering what to put into the feed and what to ignore. And should i remove items from the feed as they expire or leave them all there forever? It seems to me that i should remove older items otherwise the XML file gets pretty big over time. The list i have so far:

1. Add an item when a new event is posted
2. Add an item when an event is updated (e.g. tickets go on sale)
3. Add an item when an article is added to one of the series
4. Add an item when a news item is posted
5. Add an item when a resource page is updated
6. Remove event items after they've taken place
7. Remove article/news items older than x months (what to use for x?)

What do you think? I'm thinking 2 and 5 may be a bit too much, but if people rely on the RSS feed to keep up to date, would they want to know about all updates? Or should I have separate feeds?

FWIW, i'm mostly interested in user friendliness, SEO is a low priority for this website. Thanks for any help or hints you can give me.

 

bill




msg:3462097
 12:21 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

You're on the right track and it seems that your thinking is exactly what most feed subscribers would want from a feed. If this is an active feed and you have many subscribers looking to keep up with your information I don't think it is going overboard to add updates as well as new items. That's your call though as you could go either way.

You can certainly cull older items from the feed. There's really no need to have much old content in there. With an active, constantly updated feed I'd set a regular schedule to clean things out. However, there's no harm in leaving items there either. Your users can set their aggregators to show the range of data they want.

Keep in mind that you can also offer multiple feeds. Some sites will offer different feeds for different topics or categories and still offer one all-encompassing feed that contains everything.

borntobeweb




msg:3463356
 2:07 am on Sep 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the response bill. Makes feel better knowing i'm on the right track. :-)

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