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When it comes to syndication, there's a driving force literally and that's RSS. If you've seen this icon before, this indicates real simple syndication and this will often pop-up in your web browser or in the preferences and it's probably the first place you saw it. Now, for many, they confuse it with the WiFi icon but it is different. This is an RSS icon, which means Real Simple Syndication. Now, if you're on some web browsers, you'll see the RSS really tiny up in the Bookmark bar and that's just indicating real simple syndication.
Typically, on a blog, it's going to be the first place you discover it or if you're looking at a news website. Now, if you're on a different web browser like Firefox, you may have to turn this on and make it visible but you'll see that same icon and clicking it is going to take you to the RSS feed which is going to make it easier to see all the content on the website in small bite sized chunks. But, what exactly is RSS and what does it do? Well, many get confused because by its very nature, it actually is a technical process but with RSS there's not that much to it.
The goal with Real Simple Syndication is to get subscribers. Once you've captured a subscriber, you can continue to market to them or entertain them or inform them without having to spend dollars marketing to them over and over again trying to draw them back. A subscriber keeps getting your information until they actually unsubscribe. So, with RSS it's pretty simple, which is why it's called Real Simple Syndication. This is the process of getting that material out there to a broad audience. Now, an RSS feed is a document written in XML, and this feed is going to allow you to publish content repeatedly.
So, if you have a blog or a news website or content management system for your corporate site or personal site, it's likely generating an XML feed and this works great for content that is frequently updated. The big thing here is that people can subscribe. So, if you are going to publish a lot of content that subscriber will get everything that you release and that really is useful. Now, before you get too hung up on XML and the gobbledygook of how do you make it, you really don't have to worry in today's day and age.
That's because virtually every content management system out there from Word press to Blogger to TypePad is going to generate an XML feed automatically. This XML feed can also have items embedded inside of it such as rich media for photos or video or audio or PDF documents and this is going to make it easy for people to get that content. So, this is pretty useful stuff, and when you think about it, it's going to automate the process of delivering a bunch of stuff to a bunch of people.
Now, XML feeds have been out there for a long time but you might not realize that you use them in your everyday life. How exactly is XML useful? Well, first off, you actually use this when it comes to things like web browsers. If you have bookmarked a webpage, and you see that in your Address bar or in your Bookmarks they'll often be a little number next to the site and that indicates the number of unread articles on that site. People also use XML to pull together custom home pages whether this be on a Web browser or using iPad applications like Flipboard and AOL editions.
This lets them get the content they want from their favorite websites delivered without having to remember to go out to every single site that they're interested in. Similarly, our dedicated RSS readers and the hard-core geeks of the world love these. Strips away all of the information and just gets to the facts, the hard details. In fact, a lot of browsers will have a Reader mode that strips away a lot of the flop and just gets to the meat and the potatoes of the actual article. And like we said before, if you're putting together a blog, you're going to have an XML feed.
Every blog is dependent upon it and this is going to allow that content to go out to a lot of places. One of the ones that I think is most important in today's world is feeding your social media. So, once you get that XML feed located and identified it becomes really easy to push it to a bunch of places that matter to your audience.
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