With the rising popularity of blogs, it has become increasingly time-consuming to keep track of ones that are of interest. No one has time to check each and every favorite blog every day to search for new content. RSS feeds have become the solution.
RSS feeds are small XML files that contain a headline, date/time and description and link to information published on a blog. When used along with a feed reader, or news aggregator, they give an update on the newest content that has been added to a blogging site to a subscribed user.
RSS was developed in several different versions, each with a different meaning. RSS can stand for Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary, depending on the version used. All versions do the same thing, though. They provide a summary of information. They send a blog’s highlights to subscribers instantly upon publication. RSS feeds save the user from having to visit the site for updates.
To receive RSS feed; a user must have a feed reader, also commonly referred to as a news aggregator. This can be software, a Web-based service, extension or built into a browser. It essentially takes the XML code and translates it into readable information. When the “update” button on the feed reader is clicked, it searches all of the subscribed sites’ RSS feed for new information.
Having a RSS feed greatly increases the traffic to a blogging site because it provides an easy way to keep an audience abreast of the latest developments. Once someone is a subscriber, he will continue to be involved in the site. RSS also makes it easier for someone to add a site as a link onto their own site.
Blogging inherently encourages communication and the transfer of ideas. Blogging lets businesses extend their reach and strengthen consumer loyalty, as well as get people talking about their product. It's a matter of perception, encouraging integrity and strengthing relationships in the corporate world. Blogging has become the trademark of forward thinking companies, willing to suffer a few stings in order to get to the benefits it has to offer.