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Feeding the Masses with RSS   May 2, 2007

RSS feeds give frequent visitors to your website what they want -- automatic updates that new content was added to your site which might be of interest.

RSS stands for "real simple syndication", and just as newspapers serve up daily or weekly syndicated columns or comics, RSS syndicates your content for distribution to anyone interested in "subscribing" to your website's feed.

How does RSS work? Let's say you periodically visit the ThunderBits section of this site to learn new tidbits about general web-related information. If updates are infrequent, you may be less inclined to visit the site over time, but you also might be disappointed if you miss a string of posts made during a period you hadn't found time to visit.

"News aggregators" or "feed readers" are software programs embedded into websites or browsers, or installed as desktop applications that connect to websites offering RSS feeds for "subscribers". With aggregators, you are presented with new site updates without ever visiting the site's web address.

Feeds offer functionality to both site owners and site visitors. Summer camps might use RSS feeds to give parents daily updates of the day's happenings, then later offer information on craft projects, hobbies, or "fun stuff" during the off-season , and finally to announce that registrations for the coming year are open. All of this information is great content for the website, but with feeds the summer camp has a great marketing tool and effective way to stay in touch with parents. The fact that parents elected to learn about the camp's updates through RSS subscription means the camp has a hungry audience to feed. (No pun intended. :)

Consider the possibilities for your website or let. Would technophiles want to know that your latest gadget hit the market? Does your educational content have an audience with lots of repeat visitors? Let us help you find ways to use RSS technology on your site to take advantage of a market that wants yoiur information. And don't forget to subscribe to the ThunderBits feed, so you keep updated with ways to use today's web technologies. If you're not sure how to get going, just follow the links below!

Getting Started with RSS

If you aren't sure how to get started, take the following steps to subscribe.

  1. Open or download and install Internet Explorer 7.
  2. Navigate to our feeds page by clicking this link.
  3. Click on the Subscribe to this feed link in the yellow box.
  4. Click on the yellow star icon or Favorites link on the left side of your browser's menu bar.
  5. Click on the Thunder Data Systems - All Web Things Considered, and hit refresh to view the summaries posted.
  6. Click on the green arrow to see any posted article.

Happy feeding!

ThunderBits are ideas on website design, custom software applications, and Internet marketing. Changing monthly (okay, maybe just once in a while :), we promise to offer useful principles that build better businesses.

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