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Simple Web Syndication with RSS 2.0


RSS was originally created in 1999 by Netscape as a channel description framework for their My Netscape Network. MNN was a portal system that allowed end users to selectively view new content from their choice of content providers. RSS was created as a means of gathering that content. Since its creation, RSS has been updated and expanded to handle a much wider range of content with a far broader range of uses.

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By: Nilpo/Developer Shed Staff Writer
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 20
January 24, 2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Simple Web Syndication with RSS 2.0
  2. · Sharing your content
  3. · The XML:RSS 2.0 namespace
  4. · Expanding the channel
  5. · Expanding your content listing
  6. · Making your feed available

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Simple Web Syndication with RSS 2.0 - Sharing your content
(Page 2 of 6 )

The first step in setting up web syndication with RSS 2.0 is obviously to decide what content to share.  You can share whole pages, articles, excerpts, or headlines from your web site.  You can also share media files such as movies, audio clips, and images.  Virtually any type of content can be shared.  And you control how that sharing is done.

You can feed the actual content, like a movie, or merely send a headline from your website and provide a link back.  It all depends on your specific needs and how much of your content you want to provide.  Keep in mind that even if you offer your content via RSS, you still retain the original copyright.

You’ll need to decide how you want to arrange your content.  You can provide titles, descriptions, and links (among other things) for your content.  So figure out an intelligent way to group it so that it makes the most sense to your readers.  Remember, they aren’t going to see your whole site, just what you provide—so everything should be as descriptive as possible.

Remember to include as many keywords as possible too.  Search engines will index your RSS feeds so they can help improve search engine ranking when used effectively.  Google Sitemaps even allows you to submit an RSS feed now.  This is especially convenient for blogging sites and forums.

Once you’ve decided on what content to share and how you would like to present it, all you need is a simple text editor.  Any basic text editor like Notepad will do.  I, myself, prefer to use a text editor such as Notepad++ that features context highlighting support for XML.  Since XML syntax is very strict, this makes it much easier to avoid small mistakes.

The next step is to learn the RSS 2.0 XML namespace.  There are a number of predefined elements for you to use.  Some are required, many are optional.  The more you can provide the better off you’ll be, but we’ll go in to that in more detail later.


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