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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Syndication Options

Publishing your RSS feed is just the beginning. RSS, really a mini database containing headlines and descriptions of what's new on your site, is a natural for layering on additional services. In addition to displaying your news on other sites and headline viewers, RSS data can flow into other products and services like PDA's, cell phones, email ticklers. and even voice updates. Email newsletters can easily be automated with RSS. Even more compelling, affiliate networks and partners of like-minded sites (say a collection of Linux sites) can harvest each other's RSS feeds, and automatically display the new stories from the other sites in the network, driving more traffic throughout.

In this Web-like way RSS encourages in context multiple points of entry to one primary article, rather than multiple copies of the same article (which introduces its own maintenance problems). As we've seen, the sites with the most backlinks win, and those with the freshest content also win. RSS creates a win-win situation. Once you have data in a standardized format, new forms of content distribution channels are only limited by your imagination, and scripting ability.

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