Really simple syndication or rich site summary is a format for easily distributing and aggregating web. (such as a news headline) Users determine their favourite websites and a properly configured aggregator will syndicate selected lists of hyperlinks and headlines, along with other information about the website, then display the contents on the users desktop at regular intervals.
Using a simple program called a RSS reader you can subscribe to different news feeds and rapidly sift through condensed news. When you find an item you like, you click the headline to open the web page containing the full story. Feeds can deliver everything from web logs (blogs) and weather reports as well as new software updates to your favourite programs.
Benefits of RSS
Fast updating by auto retrieving summaries of the latest content. Easy distribution of online content. Less time spent surfing. Content comes to the user rather than the user having to go to the content.
It can not be used as a spam channel as the source of each news item received is known. For marketers it provides another channel to build brand awareness and improve and build the relationship between the webmaster and his customers.
The Disadvantages of RSS
It stretches resources to provide another avenue of information. Whilst RSS can make marketing messages more relevant , they can be more easily filtered. Thereby potentially reducing the reach of marketing communications.
What started as a technique enabling bloggers to share links, comments and original content is now being embraced by information providers and entrepreneurs.
As RSS goes mainstream publishers will be looking for ways to make their feeds pay for themselves. As a net savvy marketer you need to stay up to date with such developments.