How to Use an RSS Feed to Distribute News

If you write a blog or have interesting articles posted on your website that you'd like to share with others in cyberspace, it may be time to link them to an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. This basically generates a simple list or summary of articles on your website or blog and distributes it to anyone who might be interested in what you have to say.

Instructions

    • 1

      Decide on which format you want to use to create your feed. The most popular ones are RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0 and Atom, but there are many more out there to choose from. Check the link below for a list of formats and what they can do for you.

    • 2

      Make sure RSS aggregators, such as My Netscape and My Yahoo, can distinguish between your feed and others available on the Net. Each format has a different way to identify the names of your entries, which can be changed by editing the code generated by the feed.

    • 3

      Provide enough information, or metadata, to help the reader decide if he wants to read your article or blog. But don't overwhelm the reader by providing too much information. This is accomplished by providing a short description of your article and a title.

    • 4

      Stay away from HTML markup. Depending on the RSS reader, you may end up with unreadable text.

    • 5

      Encode your feed using UTF-8, and check it by parsing it with an XML parser.

    • 6

      Validate your feed to catch any problems. Check it on a regular basis to make sure it's running properly.

    • 7

      Use a good Web-caching utility to make sure your feed is updated frequently.

    • 8

      Get the word out. Register your feed with an online registry or browser. Also make sure there is a clearly identifiable link to your feed posted on your website.

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