I remember my first time using Microsoft Outlook, I met the word RSS feed. Well, at first I wasn’t bothered. I convinced myself perhaps this is something I know but hidden in jargon. It was later on that I chose to go deeper and stop assuming I knew everything. So, today I also want to make you know what RSS Feed is and how it works. Read on.
RSS Feeds like any other technology have their advantages and disadvantages. As social media continues to grow so is the RSS Feed facing continuous abandonment. Could the disadvantages of the RSS feed be responsible for the reason behind its reduced use? Or, could the advantages not be enough to attract many users but just a few loyalists. Well, let’s bisect this matter by closely looking at the advantages and disadvantages of RSS Feeds.
What is RSS Feed?
Websites get updated regularly. RSS feeds allow a user to get notifications of these updates and enables one to stay at par with the websites. The RSS feed keeps all the updates under one news feed. The updates come in a format readable by the computer. The abbreviation RSS stands for really simple syndication. The updates come in an easy-to-read file – mostly XML.
How do RSS Feeds Work?
The world is moving fast and updates come quick. If not on your toes, you’ll be left behind. Now, there are so many websites online, and opening each as you check for updates may take so much time and maybe tiring too. RSS Feeds work to save you that hustle. You get all the updates in a single news system. that saves you time and is more convenient. At the end of the day, you stay updated with less effort.
Whenever an author creates content, they also come up with an RSS Feed. All you need to do is subscribe to these feeds. Once you subscribe, any time updates are made on the other side; you’ll be updated by your RSS feed.
How does the RSS Feeder look like? Well, information come in is sorted and arranged in a certain order. The latest update will appear top of the feed. The updates come in as a title but are also accompanied by a link to the actual story. Also available is a summary of the title. What is the benefit of this structure?
Well, remember there are so many feeds coming in. It won’t be practical if all the feed would come in full. The RSS feed would be clogged with updates. Besides, it would limit your speed in catching a glimpse of all the updates coming in. with titles and summaries, you can just scheme through fast. The feed that catches your attention can be viewed through the link provided.
Adding Websites to your Feeder
To get feeds about your favorite sites, you have to subscribe to them. There are two subscription options. The first option is landing on your favorite site and clicking an orange button labeled RSS. On some sites, you won’t find a button labeled RSS, instead, it would be labeled XML. Both buttons work. Most sites have put these buttons to allow you to pull the RSS to your feeder with ease.
Another alternative is using the RSS Feed. Open your feeder and search the site of your choice. Once that is done, get the RSS Feed and subscribe. This will allow stories from the site to reach you in real-time. You can tailor-make your reader to suit your likes. For instance, I love sports and fashion. Perhaps you like politics. An RSS Feeder allows you to follow the subject of your choice. You can therefore customize it to suit your preferences. You can adjust the search criteria to suit what you want to receive on your feeds.
Is the RSS Feed Outdated?
Some people are thinking of the RSS Feed as an outdated thing. Well, it may be true or false depending on how you look at it. there are old things still in use because of some value vintage. For those who think RSS Feed is outdated perhaps don’t appreciate vintage. Those who appreciate look at RSS Feed as still the in thing. But why would people think of it as old?
Well, social media came with a bang and swept aside most of the previous feeders that existed. I’m sure many people don’t know what RSS is and wouldn’t even bother to find out because social media is there for them.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter among many other feeders are preferred especially with the younger generation. That does not mean the technology is outdated. It still works well and is as effective as the others. Perhaps, it is not as flooded with mediocrity as the likes of Facebook.
The Future of RSS Feed
The RSS Feed has a future but is not so bright. At the moment, not so many are aware of the working of this technology. For that reason, most browsers are likely to abandon the technology for good. Some already did. Mozilla did that in 2018 and more of those decisions are likely to follow.
It is becoming uneconomical to support the RSS Feed and that is why most browsers are getting rid of it. why is this the case? The number of people using the RSS Feeds is going down by day at an alarming rate. When users abandon this technology for their reasons, maintaining the application becomes hard. In the long run, they’ll be forced to reinvent, re-innovate, or close shop. Social media is growing in popularity and that makes it even harder for them.
At the moment, it is not yet clear whether the RSS feed is headed for extinction or things will turn around. Whether the former or latter will happen, only time will tell.
Pros of RSS feeds
Probably this is one of the best advantages of this technology. Take a moment and think about social media or even email. There are so many pseudo accounts used by people to catfish others while spamming messages on email. RSS feeds you what you subscribe for. This saves you the stress of always having to deal with the stress spam comes with.
Too many spam messages can clog your news feed for no reason. To avoid such challenges, you’d rather use RSS feeds to get the latest updates on what you like.
- Real-time updates
Times is of the essence. It won’t be news if it is delivered late. That is why you need a feeder that gets you the latest news on time. Furthermore, the RSS feeds update you and let the latest news sit on top of the feed list. That gives you ample time to start with the latest as you move to the oldest.
- Subscription management
RSS feed is easy to manage. When it comes to subscriptions, you can subscribe and reverse whenever and however you wish. When a feeder becomes too much, feel free to untie your bounds. This is a plus compared to emails. With emails, you’ll answer a few questions like why you want to unsubscribe. A process that can be tiring sometimes.
Subscriptions need to be managed else you’ll have your RSS feed full of messages you don’t need. To avoid that, you can always unsubscribe from sources you don’t want to hear from again. With the RSS feed set up, doing this is as easy as pressing a button.
- Additional tools
RSS feeds doesn’t just feed you, it can be utilized for other functions. Marketing is doable with this application. RSS feeds offer a fine platform for target marketing. With this app, a seller can sell appropriate mails to the receiver without doing spam feeds.
As a buyer, sometimes it’s hard to find the right good or service you want. Whenever you find a provider or manufacturer who produces exactly what you want, it is only wise to subscribe for updates when the goods are ready. That will make it easy for you to know when the products you want are available. That allows you to act fast so you don’t have to find the products you need out of stock.
- Time saver
How many hours would you spend if all the stories on your feed came in full? Uncountable! The RSS feed relays information in such an organized manner that you’ll spend only a few seconds to scheme through and pinpoint the topics you like. After that, you can open the links to interesting topics and read more. In essence, you’d have saved time and read more of what you’re only interested in.
When you save time, you give yourself time to do more. That means you’ll read more stories and update yourself more. With the right updates, you’ll be at par with the fast-moving world and opportunities will never pass you. the reverse is true. When you have so much on your feed with limited time, some information passes you and you end up behind the trends.
- Better ties
This is an advantage to the site owner. When a reader subscribes to your feed, they give a chance to speak to them often through regular updates. With time, you strengthen the ties between both parties, and something extraordinary might just come out. Who knows, perhaps you might get a regular client and another one and more. In the end, you realize you have built an empire already with ease.
Cons of RSS feeds
- Missing graphics
RSS feeds do not always come with pictures and graphics. Some stories should not miss pictures or they will lose meaning. For instance, if we talk about fashion; we would like to see images of the subjects for the message to hit home. Well, there is a reason why most RSS feeds don’t come with images. Pictures tend slowing downloads and occupy space. To avoid such issues, most feeders avoid images. As a result, they can use less space on files and make it easy to download information. This is also an SEO technique websites use to make their sites user-friendly.
You would want to know what’s happening with your subscribers and why it happens. For instance, when a subscriber chooses to unsubscribe, it would be wise if you knew the reasons behind the unsubscriptions. Without analytics, it would almost impossible to know why. At no point will you know the following you have. How do you better your advertising without even knowing the number of people subscribed to your feeds?
You need analytics to improve your marketing. RSS feed denies you that opportunity thus limiting your ability to grow in skills.
- Increased site activity
RSS feed comes with links to the sites. This makes the site busy and that is a challenger to the website’s development team. While it may be a good idea, it will still affect your site; calling for regular repairs and maintenance.
RSS feeds have several pros and cons. We have given you the advantages of this application and the cons. The advantages outdo the cons although some people will prefer other feeders like social media. Still, the RSS feed remains a good option to get updates.
The RSS Feed has been around for quite some time now. The technology allows the user or application to get summarized updates in real-time. The feeds come in and get sorted in chronological order. The latest feed will stay at the top of the list. The feeds come with links to the actual posts and that allows you to scheme through and click open the update you are interested in. You can customize the search query to allow just certain feeds according to your liking. Although, only time will determine the future of RSS Feeds.