Over the years technology has provided us with more options for sending and receiving content over the internet. One of the newest is a delivery system called Real Simple Syndication or “RSS".
RSS is a format for delivering news and other content through a syndication channel. The most common sites that publish RSS feeds still include major news organizations whose information is broken into different stories and can be delivered to recipients once published.
This delivery concept has also been adopted by other non-news related sites such as the blogging community who publish posts (similar to news stories) and allow other people to subscribe through RSS to receive their blog posts automatically.
RSS Usage Rates:
RSS has been in use since 1999 but still hasn't been adopted by the mass Internet community. According to an October 2005 White Paper published by Yahoo, “Awareness of RSS is quite low among Internet users. 12% of users are aware of RSS, and 4% have knowingly used RSS. " [http://publisher. yahoo.com/rss/RSS_whitePaper1004. pdf]
A publisher looking to distribute their content can't rely on just RSS alone.
Tools to Read RSS:
To read an RSS feed you need news aggregator software to capture, read and store all the content that is delivered through RSS. There are many popular aggregators on the market today, many of which are free of charge.
Two popular types of aggregators are web based readers (Bloglines) or a desktop reader (SharpReader). The web based reader is an online free service that you login and can subscribe, read and manage all your RSS feeds. The desktop software is similar in features to its online counterpart but is installed and runs on your computer.
Will RSS Replace Email?
I'd be willing to wager that anyone reading this article today checked their email, in fact going a bit further I bet you not only checked your email but also replied to some of it as well. Will RSS replace email? - I think we can collectively say - no, email is far too important but the beauty of email is that you can marry the two technologies together to deliver information that subscribers want, in the format they want. . .
Sean Cohen, Director of Client Relations and Development of Newtown, PA based AWeber Communications, Inc. an opt-in email service provider. Visit http://www.aweber.com and see how you can incorporate RSS and email automatically with our newest feature - Feed Broadcaster.