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RSS Feed Aggregators

RSS feed aggregators are one of those things that are designed to make life easier for web users but irritate some webmasters.

Many webmasters would rather have people come straight to their websites for news, blogs, podcasts and video podcasts but RSS aggregators mean people don’t have to do this. There’s little point crying over spilt milk though, those who do simply complain will miss out as you can actually make RSS aggregators work for you as a website owner if you use them and setup your RSS properly.

RSS feeds include the content that a website has available including their latest articles, news, blogs, podcasts and video podcasts:this allows other software to see using XML what there is available:the result is that people go to an RSS aggregator where they can get all the best content in one place rather than going to hundreds of websites to find what they want. RSS aggregators are sometimes searchable meaning you can use terms to search for relevant content to the subject you are interested in and you can specify the content type you want. With other aggregators you simply subscribe to your favorite providers and get told, by e-mail if you wish, when your favorite websites have published new content.

So people read and consume everything through the aggregator and don’t go to people’s sites, many webmasters will think that this means that they wont get any visitors any more, this is to suppose though that people would visit their website every day to see if they had new content, the chances are they wouldn’t but by using an aggregator many more people may consume their content and come across the website’s name.

People who have subscribed to your RSS feed may read (or watch or listen to) a lot of the content you write if it is always of the standard that made them subscribe in the first place and they will see the website name each time and get an idea what you do and what they offer ready for when they need this product or service by which time they will hopefully have been suitably impressed by the content.

In order to get your content on an RSS aggregator you usually have to go to the websites that provide them or even through the software itself and add the URL for your feed, you may need to setup an account with some. Your feed itself needs to be a simple piece of XML code that many CMSs (Content Management Systems) will create automatically. Aggregators include the likes of iTunes where your latest podcasts can be published automatically and also you can try Google Reader. Firefox and Outlook are both examples of other software with RSS aggregators built in, the later meaning that you can receive the latest content you have subscribed to along with your e-mails.

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