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7th September 2005

Putting Your Web Content Into A Feed

If you are using blog software it should have feed technology built in. If you want feeds on your website content, and you should, then you need to figure out the best way to add new content and get it into a feed. Some content management systems have RSS built in.

The first action is to decide which content you want in a feed and how you want it presented to the end user. There are many ways you can put a feed on your website. Some are free, some have a small cost.

Feeds are produced in a language called XML – eXtensible Markup Language. XML is not as forgiving as HTML; the formatting is very strict and a little more complicated. In order to read a feed, a user needs to have a feed reader. Without a reader a feed looks like this in XML

For a static HTML website:

Not only do you need a way to get your content into a feed, you also need to add the content to your website. To avoid having to pay a webmaster, or rely on your IT department add the content for you, use a system like PRESSfeed, which combines content management and feed technology. PRESSfeed allows you to add the content to the site instantly and distribute it in a feed. This allows you complete control over your area of content. You can see an example onthis site that promotes a natural pain remedy

For a website with a content management system

Since you already have the capability of adding content, you need a way to get that content into a feed. Some content management systems come with feed-generating technology built in. If you don’t have that, there are many choices for making a feed.

If you have a very complex website, with firewalls and a security system, adding a feed may take some technical know-how.

Pay attention to:

How the provider makes the feed
Where it will be situated on your site
Whether it will automatically be updated each time you add an item
Will it be registered with feed search engines and directories
How the feed will display in the various readers
Whether or not you have unlimited click throughs to the content

Here are some suggestions:

PRESSfeed – Offers a simple and easy to implement service for dynamic, content driven websites.
Nooked – Good for corporate marketing and PR content. There is a limit on the number of click throughs.
FeedForAll – You can create, edit and publish RSS feeds and podcasts with this desktop software
Simplefeed – Another good feed provider.

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7th September 2005

RSS Basics – where are feeds headed

Where Are Web Feeds Headed?

“The biggest opportunities for RSS are not in the blogosphere but as a corporate communication channel. Even now, businesses that were initially reluctantly evaluating RSS are beginning to realize the power and benefit of the RSS information avenue. The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and content quality consistent. “ FeedForAll

“With thousands of sites now RSS-enabled and more on the way, RSS has become perhaps the most visible XML success story to date. RSS democratizes news distribution by making everyone a potential news provider. It leverages the Web’s most valuable asset, content, and makes displaying high-quality relevant news on your site easy. Soon we’ll see RSS portals with user-rated channels, cool RSS site of the day, build your own topic-specific portal, and highly relevant search engines.” Web Reference

“Even if it’s something as simple as putting press releases in an RSS feed marketers will benefit from early exposure to distributing information via RSS — and receive valuable feedback from key constituents on what types of content they would like to have.” Forrester Research July 2005

“The most compelling use of RSS is that it lets users read dozens of websites, all on the same page. The sites can be scanned in seconds rather than having to be laboriously loaded individually.” BBC Magazine

Read The Business Case For RSS
Get a free download here

More RSS Resources
For more information read this excellent tutorial on RSS feeds

Amy Gahran’s excellent tutorial – What are Web Feeds and why should you care?
Contentious RSS Tutorial

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1st September 2005

RSS is the hottest brand online, says Forbes

RSS has become mainstream, states this Forbes article on the rise of RSS.

Jim Moore, one of the partners at the venture capital fund,called RSS Investors, says the sweet spot for RSS develoment is in infrastructure products that will allow better filtering, search, scalability and security.

He thinks developers will leverage RSS into enterprise products that help employees collaborate on projects. It could even help with collaboration with alliance partners and suppliers.

RSS also represents a transformative shift in the traditional media industry, says Chris Alden – one of the co-founders of Rojo a web based RSS aggregator.

“Traditional media is defined by the publisher,” said Alden. “In the RSS world, media is defined by the user.”

And the traditional media is certainly seeing this shift. The BBC recently reported that they have a 30 percent month over month increase in RSS subscriptions. Those little orange icons proliferate on media sites today.

Even the AARP offers RSS feeds on their site.

Shouldn’t you?

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