RSS, or Rich Site Summary is a format for sharing content from one website to another. It provides for the distribution of information without the use of email, so the receiver’s email box isn’t filled with reading matter. Instead of searching for information or news on the web, people can log on to a website that has received the feed and read it.
What does this mean for affiliates? It means that they can selectively add syndicated content to their sites by subscribing to an RSS feed. This can range from news feeds from a newspaper or television station, blogs, press releases from an online distributor, or newsletters and ezines. All the affiliate has to do is enter the URLs of the feeds, and the rest will be automatically delivered to them via software called an aggregator. By choosing carefully, an affiliate can automatically add relevant content to their site, and save time in content management and updates. RSS readers or aggregators are available free as downloads.
Publishers of the content need special software to create the RSS feeds, and affiliates may want to consider doing this also in order to distribute content and raise awareness of their services and site. Because RSS has not caught on with the majority of newsletter subscribers, it would be wise for newsletter providers to continue to offer an email option for delivery, until they see the changeover.
To view a directory of feeds, see www.2rss.com, and check the sites of all major newspapers for feeds.
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