RSS is an acronymn for Really Simple Syndication
or Rich Site Summary.
RSS (noun) - an XML format for distributing news
headlines on the Web.
RSS Feeds
This presentation will answer the following questions:
What is RSS?
Why use RSS?
What is RSS used for?
How do I create RSS Feeds?
How do I view RSS feeds?
What is RSS?
RSS is a defined standard for syndicating headlines and other content.
RSS is created using XML or eXtensible Markup Language, which is a markup language
similar to HTML. All fields are defined. Tags are used to denote the field’s classification.
Like HTML, proper construction requires that tags are both opened and closed.
Example: <title> Title of Item in Feed </title>
RSS has been around for more than a decade, but only recently the standard has been
embraced by bloggers, webmasters and large news portals as a means of distributing
Information, in a standardized format.
Why use RSS?
RSS as a means of communicating:
Email is burdened with:
• SPAM - messages are often deleted or are filtered because of cluttered mailboxes
• Viruses – more and more legitimate messages are not reaching their destination
due to the proliferation of viruses.
Benefits to RSS:
• Opt-In – users elect which feeds which they subscribe to.
• Syndication – RSS is a defined standard for syndicating content, feeds extend reach
• Content – steady stream of fresh web content
• Aggregation – users can quickly scan multiple content streams and click on items of
interest saving time
• Traffic – increased exposure and traffic for web sites
Why Use RSS?
This Alexa graph represents traffic increase on Software Marketing Resource.
After the beginning of July SMR began updating their RSS feed on a daily basis,
the significant traffic increase is evident in the graph above.
What is RSS used for?
Initially RSS was restricted to News Headlines. As RSS’ popularity has increased the uses
For RSS have expanded. Common uses for RSS include:
• Blogs – summaries of daily blog posts
• Newsletters – synopses of newsletters alerting users that a new newsletter is available
• Weather Alerts – notification of severe weather
• Press Announcements – new product announcements
• Specials or Discounts – weekly deals or discount offers for customers
• Calendars – listings of upcoming events, deadlines or holidays
Common Industry specific uses for RSS include:
• Service Industry – notification of viruses or security alerts
• Real Estate – listings of open houses or new homes on the market
• Schools – homework listings
• Restaurants – lunch or dinner specials
• Law Enforcement – announce sexual predators in area
How do I create an RSS feed?
RSS feeds can be created using :
• a text editor
• using desktop software
In order to use a text editor you must be familiar with all of the fields and
accepted formats. The following sites can be used as resources:
How do I create an RSS feed?
To create feeds using desktop software, you may want to consider
FeedForAll . FeedForAll allows users to quickly and easily, create, edit
and publish RSS feeds that conform to specifications.
FeedForAll has a built in wizard that makes feed creation very easy.
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Feed Title –
Enter the title of your RSS
feed. This is the generally
the theme that your Feed will
follow. Similar to the title of
a website’s index page.
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Feed Description –
Enter the description of your
RSS feed.
This is a summary of theme that
the RSS feed will follow.
Similar to a website’s description.
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Feed Link –
Enter the link of your RSS feed.
This is the link of the website
containing contents related to
the RSS feed.
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Item Title –
Within each feed is a number of
items. Each item contains
information related to specific
topic within the theme. It could
be a blog post, or a special offer.
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Item Description –
Summary of item. Often this
Is an overview or portion
of the item.
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Item Link –
Include exact url to item on
web page, its best for each
item to have a unique link.
Feeds generally contain
multiple items. These could
be blog posts, news items,
items on sale…
FeedForAll’s Feed Creation Wizard
Additional information, including images can be added to RSS feeds
to enhance them.
RSS Feeds Created
Once a Feed is created, you have a number of options.
The feed can be posted on the website with a graphic signifying
that a feed exists.
Feeds can be exported to HTML or HTML tables and included in the
website as a server side include.
RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS search engines. There is a
large list at:
Graphics Indicating Feed
How do I read RSS feeds?
RSS feeds can be read two different ways.
Desktop RSS feed reader or news aggregator
Web based RSS feed reader.
Desktop Feed Readers
There are a number of desktop RSS Readers available like FeedDemon
A large list of RSS feed readers is available at:
To subscribe to a specific RSS feed, simply enter the url of the RSS file into the
software, the extension is usually .xml or .rss
Desktop Feed Readers
FeedDemon RSS Reader
To add feeds, simply enter the url of the .xml or .rss file. The software will routinely check for
feed updates, and maybe able to auto-detect sites that have feeds available.
Desktop Feed Readers
Once feeds are added they will
appear in the list. In the left hand
column feeds are listed, they
are bolded when a feed is updated.
The right hand side displays the
actual contents of the feed.
If a headline is of interest user
simply click on the the headline.
Web Based Readers
Web based readers work similar to desktop clients, they are often designed to be start pages.
Simply enter the urls of the feeds you wish to monitor, often they will allow you to determine the
number of items that you want to see for each feed. Each time feeds are updated new items will
Appear in your web browser.
Popular web based readers include:
FeedScout –
Active Web Reader –
Yahoo – can even display RSS feeds.
RSS in Summary
The bottom line is that RSS makes surfers more productive and saves time it is not burdened
with the problems commonly associated with e-mail and offers a great communication venue.
If you have not considered using RSS perhaps its time to take a closer look at:
This presentation by NotePage, Inc. developers of FeedForAll
FeedForAll –
Additional Resources:
RSS Specifications –
Blog Connection –
Thank You

RSS Downloadable PowerPoint