You may be wondering why all the fuss and hub-bub about RSS at this time, and why I bother to write about it at all. Do a search in the EzineArticles data base strictly just for the term “RSS” and you will find that many of the best articles written on the subject were back around the 2005-2006 time-frame. So it’s not exactly news.
The reason is that I keep finding new ways to use RSS in my search engine optimization, and in my online projects to build niche type websites and my network of blogs. Most recently RSS has been a large component for two personal projects I call “LinkWheel Sage” and “RSS Mage”. The first project is a free guide on how to use RSS feeds to power link wheels, and the second project involves designing a free WordPress plugin that uses RSS feeds to create links and targeted traffic.
Exploring and mapping these projects has also piqued and renewed my interest in this simple technology that is often now taken for granted. This has made me aware of how important it is to be specific about incorporating RSS feeds in your website planning. This should not be an aside or an afterthought, and in the end can be extremely important to your overall online marketing strategy.
There certainly is nothing difficult about creating and using RSS channels, so it should be on your checklist for designing and building effective websites, blogs, and then become part of your ongoing online marketing to promote your website properties and branding. Everyone by now should be aware that RSS is beneficial as a way to quickly publish updated content, but let’s also look at some of the other things that make this really simple syndication work so great.
Probably the best feature of feed stream is the speed of the technology and the fact that it is essentially “real-time”. Updates to content are made available network-wide across the Internet as content is added, edited, or deleted. Subscribing and un-subscribing to an RSS feed is drop-dead simple and most people using the Internet are familiar with using feeds and channels. It does not matter what the content is either. RSS does not discriminate and content can be a combination of text, graphics, photos, and videos. Content and feeds can be mixed at will. This provide for unlimited possibilities when it comes to user experience, since the recipient decides what content they want to choose and filter. If you don’t like a particular feed, you can edit the content feed, or just stop receiving the feed.
Most importantly, RSS is a very focused and targeted way to distribute content. It can provide a highly personalized user experience. Readers that take the time to subscribe to RSS feeds have a genuine interest in the content and information. An added bonus is the fact that RSS is not very likely to be abused for spam like so many other aspects of being online. The end-user is always in control.