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RSS -- it's not just for feed readers. right?



5:38 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I suggested to my boss that we develop RSS feeds for our content. (Yeah, we're a few years behind the times.) He nixed the idea, saying something like, "Oh I hear people don't even use news readers anymore..."

Putting aside the question of whether or not feed readers are still popular, I kinda thought that RSS is a format that has several applications, with readers being only one example. Is that true or not?

Sorry to post such an elementary question... but I did Google(TM) this to death and couldn't find a solid answer.



4:00 am on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

"Oh I hear people don't even use news readers anymore..."

Heh heh. Yeah, he's probably right. But newsreaders were for the old NNTP protocol and they were used for reading Usenet newsgroups. That's different from RSS.

RSS feeds can be aggregated in a number of ways, aside from the basic feed reader. Feeds are often added to websites and are a great way to syndicate your content. One common example today is when people add your feed content to their start pages like Yahoo and iGoogle pages.

When you syndicate that content out you will get links back to the original. That's a big motivator for some.

Also, keep in mind that not everyone wants to visit your site on a daily basis to see if there's anything new. Savvy customers will subscribe to several feeds and monitor you and your competitors. If you don't have a feed you're missing out on a wider audience.

Don't think of RSS as simply something to be viewed in a feed reader. It has wider use than just that.


3:24 pm on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you, bill. I love it when the boss is wrong. ;-)

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