Thursday, September 22, 2005

RSS - creating a Feed from Your Website.

Creating a feed from your website is a new and more advanced topic. I
assume everyone will self regulate whether the topic is appropriate for
them.

Topic: Creating an RSS feed from your website - how to create and manage
your own feed.

Outline:
- Differences in website and blog feeds.
- Creating feeds from a website: manually, scraping, programming, and
products.
- How to manually create a feed.
- How to write a program to create a feed - overview and resources.
- How to use a product to create a feed from your website.

Today: Let's do some thinking about feeds and websites and blogs.

RSS feeds for a website are designed to do headlines, to do a tease, to get
people to select a link and to go to the website. A website RSS feed is an
advertisement for the full webpage or the full website. The RSS feed
always contains a link back to a website.

An RSS feed for a website is like a movie preview. The movie preview shows
just enough of the movie to make the person want to see the movie.

The feed for your website is a notice or announcement that brings people
back to your website. The goal of the website RSS feed is to entice the
subscriber to click the link and come to your website. The goal is for the
RSS feed to bring visitors back to the website.

It is not the same for a blog. If the blog entry is short, the subscriber
may very well just read the feed and not go to the actual blog entry. I
read many RSS Feeds from blogs where I rarely, if ever, go to the actual
blog. Some subscribers never go to the actual blog. One reads the feed.
That is all.

For a blog, the feed is to alert the subscriber that a new blog post was
written. If the RSS feed subscriber is up-to-date on the blog, all the
subscriber cares about is the latest blog entry. The subscriber does not
care about the rest of the blog.

For a website, you want to bring the visitor back to the website where the
visitor can purchase a product, review your services, read your latest
article, or get acquainted with your business. Each RSS feed entry is
another invitation to come back to the website.

Next post: More discussion about website RSS feeds.

Les Bain

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