RSS feed

RSS for Feeds Sake

RSS and XML have developed over the last few years to not only enable content syndication but also allow interaction and communication between different sites. Sites sharing data and content directly with other sites. A now common example of this is affiliate site providing XML datafeeds for their clients to use.

It got me thinking, when you are so involved in a subject you tend to become blind to the fact that not everyone knows about RSS and what it does. What brought it home to me was that I was researching about free solar panels. In the UK at the moment solar panels are hot if you pardon the pun. My point being is that they have no RSS feed and they are a proper company and not just a hobbyist site. So I thought I'd check out some other UK companies. Barring sites using Wordpress that has feeds by default there were far more sites not using this technology that were using it.

My conclusion is that companies these days rely far more on other communication methods such as email, Facebook and Twitter. RSS does have it's place but it was never going to be the de facto mainstream method of keeping in contact with customers.

Feed Compare Feedburner subscriber graphs

A large number of blogs and other sites now use Feedburner as it has a number of great Pro freatures and Feedburner also allows you to transfer feed ownership between users. Whilst you can see your stats in Feedburner the graphs are not that great and you can compare them.

There is a site called Feed Compare that allows you to view the RSS subscriber data for up to 4 feeds on a single graph. This means you could compare your competitors RSS subscriber count with your own feed.

To allow you to get the best idea of subscriber numbers you can also view a graph showing data for the last month, quarter, half year, year or 2 years assuming the feed has been in existence for that long.

The reason this is such a great tool is that you can now find out exactly how a sites RSS feed has grown over time. All you need is the sites Feedburner URL which you can get by right clicking on the sites RSS feed icon and copying the URL than pasting it into Feed Compare.

RSS advertising with Bidvertiser

There are already several options for RSS advertising but Bidvertiser has decided to enter the market and offer publishers the opportunity to sell advertising in their RSS feeds. Of course this also means advertisers will also be able to buy ads in RSS feeds.

Advertising with RSS

With the much larger subscriber numbers for RSS feeds it has become more viable for advertising to appear within an RSS feed. An ad in an RSS feed means that the ad will only appear in the feed rather than on the site.

As RSS subscribers tend to be more interested in the content the ads could be more effective if targeted correctly. Bidvertisers feed advertising program is in public beta and offers RSS advertising and allows RSS publishers to sell RSS ads. It will be interesting to see how it progresses compared the Feedvertiser program.

3 things you really want to know about RSS

I have been doing some digging into the statistics for Newsniche to try and discover what you are really interested in when it comes to RSS. So I have come up with the imaginatively titled 3 things you really want to know about RSS. So here are the most wanted to know things about RSS in reverse order.

RSS publishing tools

The third most popular topic is on RSS publishing tools. Rather than an article this is a section of the site dedicated to letting you know how you can publish RSS on your site. Being able to publish RSS on your site means that you have a constant stream of updating content for your readers.

Which is the best RSS feed reader

The second most popular item on the site is an article on Which is the best RSS feed reader. You certainly want to know which is the best way to read your feeds. This is not surprising as RSS is all about being able to have information from your favourite sites available to you without having to visit every you like frequently. Why not subscribe to their feed and have the content come to you.

Using Javascript to display RSS

I guess deep down everyone wants to display RSS using Javascript as the number one most read article is Using Javascript to display RSS. This is an article I wrote ages ago showing you how you could easily place content from an RSS feed on your site using a snippet of Javascript. That is so 2006.

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