|English: This icon, known as the "feed icon" or the "RSS icon", was introduced in Mozilla Firefox in order to indicate a web feed was present on a particular web page that could be used in conjunction with the Live bookmarks function. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera and some other browsers have adopted the icon in order to promote a de facto standard. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
RSS feeds are basically like keeping a constant eye on an aspect of a remote web page. You may want to know when your favorite website is updated. Perhaps you need the latest weather updates. Regardless of the desired information, you simply need to set up an RSS feed to the desired site. You then need to gather all of your RSS feeds so they will output their information in one place such as your home page. This allows you to continuously monitor a wide variety of pages without having to manually check them.
The other aspect of RSS feeds involves advertising. If you would like to increase traffic to one of your current blogs or websites, you can publish an RSS feed on another website. Consequently, all visitors to the site you publish will see the ad for your web page; they will know exactly what is happening on your site at any given moment. The goal is to have your RSS feed published on as many different pages as possible. If you convince enough people to add your feed, then you can create a large network that customers will come across often.
Regarding the technical aspect of RSS feeds; they are based on XML code. If you wanted a live feed from another page in the old days, you had to manually paste a large piece of XML code into the code of your existing site. This was very cumbersome and beyond the abilities of most bloggers at the time. RSS makes XML simple and easy to use. Nowadays, you no longer need to paste XML code. You can simply follow a series of links to have an RSS feed on your "feed aggregator" page or software, or have your feed published elsewhere.
The meaning of the term RSS tends to change occasionally. However, the term currently refers to "Really Simple Syndication", according to Wikipedia. To view a feed, you will require an aggregator. This can be a site such as FeedBurner, Technorati or Del.icio.us (pronounced delicious). These sites are very helpful to personal Bloggers, individuals who read many different blogs or feeds, and people who use their website or blog as a business. These sites refer to themselves as "communities", and they often function as both aggregators and feed publishers.
FeedBurner claims to be the "biggest and baddest" feed publishing network. Having your feed "burned" can result in a massive increase in traffic, almost instantly. Simply by choosing FeedBurner to publish your feed, you automatically gain access to many new marketing channels. Most likely, you will discover many channels that you didn't even know existed. Technorati is more of a blog-hosting site. However, its potential as a feed publisher and source of major traffic shouldn't be underestimated.
Del.icio.us markets itself as an "online bookmarking" utility specifically designed to attract end users, rather than publishers. This means that publishing your feed on this site will encourage more people to visit your site.
All in all, publishing RSS feeds from your site can greatly increase your web traffic and your online business. They are one of the most effective ways to let as many people as possible know what is happening on your website or your online store.