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Toronto-based boutique agency specializing in web design and development, identity and print design.
Aug 10

Defining the Web: RSS


What the heck is an RSS feed? RSS is an acronym for Real Symple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. Basically, it’s a format for distributing news on the web. Most blogs, article sections, news sections, and forums use RSS feeds to deliver content to the website.

RSS feeds streamline communication between companies and their consumers. They allow readers to quickly browse headlines and choose which feed items they would like to read. Think of it as the table of contents section in a magazine. You browse all of the headlines and choose which articles to read, then you flip to that page.

With the popularity of RSS feeds growing rapidly, there are plenty of feed readers available with the most popular being Google Reader. Feed readers allow its users to sign up for multiple RSS feeds so that all of your news from all different websites are all in one place. This definitely beats going to multiple different websites throughout the day just to get your news fix.

We at Mouth Media use Google Reader to keep up to date with current web trends by subscribing to different web/graphic/print design blogs. I, myself, am subscribed to 66 different websites, all of which have their own unique purpose and lessons to be learned. If it wasn’t for feed readers such as Google Reader, I probably wouldn’t have remembered half of these websites and wouldn’t have realized the true value that each website has to offer and what I could learn from them.

If you want to keep your readers coming back to your site and constantly being updated when your site is updated, use an RSS feed and make sure the content you post is relevant and valuable. The biggest mistake people make when starting a blog/news/articles section on their website is never updating it, so update away, that way your users won’t forget about you!