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About RSS News Feeds

Related New RSS Technology Trends:

  • What is Podcasting MORE>>
  • News Feed Demo Scanning for Intellectual Property Headers & Summaries: MORE>>
  • an interesting array of RSS Services: MORE>>


RSS News Feeds Explained
by Ann Jensen Warman

For those of us who focused on print design during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the web crept up on us quickly and powerfully. Likewise, new internet trends continue to quietly emerge, creating huge waves of change for visual and verbal communicators.

One interesting technology to watch is RSS News Feeds. Seen often in conjunction with blogging tools, news feeds offer researchers, specialists, and the press new avenues for information distribution and retrieval.

RSS, often called "Really Simple Syndication," refers to a format applied to XML data. It has accumulated enough standardization across the industry to signify its growing usefulness in news dissemination. Software aggregators are able to scan and organize RSS feeds from any website on the internet within moments. If RSS continues to take hold, it may speed the transmissions rates and breadth of news coverage light years into the future.

With RSS tools, often included in blogging software, you are able to distribute (also called syndicate) your own news, making your information available for instantaneous formatting and posting on news portals around the world.

In other words, you feed the text you have created into your RSS generating software tool which formats and posts the text to a web page as raw XML. Software aggregator tools used by other websites may then search for, collect, format, store in a database and/or display your information on their site. Your headlines and links are immediately readable and posted on sites that have subscribed to you through their aggregators.

Let's say you are a trademark attorney who needs to keep current on world-wide IP transactions. To do this, you set your own aggregator to give you a daily condensed, headline summary from specific pre-selected set of world-wide web news generators.

Your aggregator automatically polls, collects, and formats all new information it finds on the topics you specify. Often it will be able to show it to you as full articles or as headers with summaries. Over your morning coffee, you quickly scan summaries, decide which topics need further attention, keeping your research time to a minimum.

Newspapers and periodicals require us to rely on journalists and editors to interpret and select the information we receive. With news aggregators, you are your own information generator and selector. You can make your own online news page, highlighting content your aggregator has collected for you and automatically posts on your website. Your website is freshly each day without you having to spend extra time writing articles.

Within the public relations arena, your publicity releases can be distributed directly into the RSS system, reaching the press, but also all the individuals who use news aggregators.

If you have a website targeted to a specific audience, your aggregator can dynamically supply current headline news with summaries, directly to your web pages, automatically updating content for your visitors.

Here is an example of simple news reader, written in PHP (not part of a blogging package): MORE>>

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