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RSS...Can i do it!

3:00 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This has been asked too often here....please bear with me ......

I just recently came to know about RSS and about content syndication...I want to use this technology to send out my list of subscribers new information pertaining to my site.....My question is what is the procedure to do this...how do i achieve this and what do i need to know so that i can accomplish this....I am willing to read up and understand because this is something I need to accomplish soon

FYI, I am completely new to this and have a basic knowledge of html and javascript....can i do this ..

11:35 am on Sept 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Basically all you have to do is compiling a valid RSS file (kind of XML) and offer your visitors the possibility to subscribe to this feed using their RSS reader.

Since you probably do not want to write XML by hand, there are tools for creating a RSS feed file:

1. If you use a CMS to manage your website the functionalitly to create the feed file are probably already built in?

2. Install some ready-to-use RSS managment tool server side, which allows you to create, maintain and deliver feeds directly on your server.

3. There are some online tools that allow the enter feed information and the entries. The tool then creates a valid RSS file which you can save locally and upload to your server.

4. Use some Mac/Win software to edit the feeds on your PC. Most programs allow direct FTP upload to your server. This is the way I do it...

Creating the feed is easy, promoting it is not. How can you tell people about your feed:

* If you have newsletter subscribers, send them a mail about your new RSS feed along with some explanation about RSS and its use, esp. free RSS readers they can download.

* Add the well-known orange [XML] or [RSS] icon to your website and link it to your feed file.

* Adding a "Whats this?" link underneath the icon leading to a page describing the concept of RSS and the use of RSS readers always helps to get new users into using RSS.

* Add a :: type="application/rss+xml" :: to the <a href> tag which points to the RSS file. This helps some RSS readers to identify feeds by themselves.

* Add something like <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="myfeed.rss" title="RSS feed for my website"> to the HEAD-section of your page. This can help too...

* Submit your feed to RSS search engines.

I can not post any links here but some google searches for relevant terms should point you into the right direction. For questions you can PM me...


10:26 am on Sept 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Since you probably do not want to write XML by hand...

This seems to be the general consensus, but I've never had a problem with it. I have a very simple rss 2.0 feed which uses the following format:

<rss version="2.0">
<title>Page the feed refers to</title>
<description>Explanation of what the information on the page/feed is</description>
<copyright>Copyright 2004, mysite.com</copyright>

<title>Title of item#1</title>
<description>short summary of item</description>

<title>Title of item#2</title>
<description>short summary of item</description>


I find it very easy to do cut and paste edits from my HTML file (when I update it) into my RSS file and then upload them to my server together.

7:28 am on Sept 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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SO what you are saying is that a novice like me can use this sort of a code to create and update an RSS feed?

There isn't a need to use any specific softwares?

2:02 am on Oct 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yep, nothing special is required. I've been experimenting for a couple of weeks creating an RSS feed by hand and its working fine. You should probably run it through a validator everytime you update it for the first week or two until you are comfortable with the layout (and still check it from time to time after that).