RSS/ATOM FEEDS

RSS (Real Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, et al) and/or Atom feeds are used by all major online News Organizations -- BBC, CNN, FoxNews, CNBC, et al., and "Blogmasters" to feed new content and updates automatically to the Web community at large via feed readers/aggregators and Live Update Bookmarks installed in graphical Browsers.

At present not many owners of private Web sites are using RSS/Atom feeds to announce page updates and new content additions although they are well suited for that purpose. In addition to keeping visitors apprised of changes, RSS/Atom feeds may lead to increased visitation and page loads. Of course, feed availability must be prominently advertised on the site -- probably most appropriately on the Home Page. Web Site owners are always anxious to "get the word out" about updated or new information and products for sale on their web sites but often are at a loss of how to do that except by using e-mails, word of mouth and participation in online discussion Forums -- pretty good strategies in their own right but to a limited audience. RSS/Atom Feeds provide a handy method of offering this service to visitors. By way of example, the following Web page incorporates an owner generated RSS feed (via RDF/XML):

Web Author RSS Tutorial is an excellent overview of the different "flavors" of RSS and Atom that will answer most basic questions. If you read the information on the following pages you will have a good grasp of what RSS/Atom is all about and should be well on your way to creating, publishing and maintaining your own feeds.


Web Page Writer's Tool Kit