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What is RSS?

Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary is a useful method for distributing website content. Rather than customers having to visit your site for updates, new products or news RSS can let them know about information for your business.

With an RSS feed you can send headlines and text, with a site link, directly to your customers. Making the headlines and description briefs available as an XML document is how you do this. Blogging software or specialist RSS tools are available for this purpose. This tutorial provides a directory of useful RSS tools.

Customers will require RSS reader software and these can be web-based (Bloglines), via software downloaded to your computer (NewsGator), or as part of the web browser you use (Firefox).

You can expect these readers to display information much like an email inbox. Make the link available on your website and customers can add it to whichever system they use for RSS reading. Every time they open up their reader, your updated content will appear. If the headline and brief looks interesting, they click through to the website to check out the full information. In addition to offering an RSS feed on your site, have a small description of RSS and links to download or access readers to introduce new users to the system.

Find out more about RSS and publishing a news feed from the following sites:

This site provides a useful independent tutorial on publishing a news feed.

A directory of RSS readers is available from Google.
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