Syndicate Your Headlines Using RSS

Written By: Shelley Lowery

RSS is quickly becoming the standard choice for delivering
syndicated web content. Have you ever wondered how some
of the large content sites deliver their headlines? Or, have
you ever wanted to display news headlines, but didn’t want
to display the standard “Content Provided By…” info? Or,
have you ever wanted to syndicate your own content? RSS may
be the answer you’ve been looking for.

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary. It is a XML format
specifically designed to share content. Netscape originally
developed RSS to drive channels for their Netscape Netcenter.
Formerly known as RDF, RSS was developed in 1999 and has
quickly evolved into the dominant format for syndicating
content. Well-known sites such as, CNET, ZDNet, CNN, Wired
and many more utilize this powerful means of dynamic
content delivery.

Distributing your content using RSS will involve creating
one file that contains your content. This file will reside
on your server to enable other web sites to display your
channel. You can update your channel simply by updating
your file.

Once you’ve created your file you can submit it to web
sites like Netscape to enable other web sites to subscribe.

Creating an RSS File

Note: Some email programs will be unable to view the
coding within this article. You can view it online here:

Your first step will be to identify your file. To do this,
place the following code at the top of your text file.

RSS 0.91//EN”

Your next step will be to create your channel header.
The “channel” tag indicates that you are beginning a new

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The “title” tag indicates the name of your channel. The
“link” tag will contain a link to your web site. The
“description” tag describes your channel and the “language”
tag indicates that you’re writing in US English.

In addition to displaying text, you can also display a
small logo. The image should be 88 pixels wide and 31
pixels high. Displaying an image is optional. If you’re
not going to include an image, skip this step.

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Now, you’re ready to create your headlines. Each new “item”
tag represents a new topic. The rule of thumb is to
include between five and fifteen items. You can include a
description, but it isn’t required.

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Your final step will be to close your channel by adding the
following tags:

Save your new file with a .rss file extension and upload it
to your server.

If you’d rather not create your own RSS file, RSS Channel
Editor is a free Web based tool that makes it easy to create
and maintain RSS files. You can find the script here:
http://www.webreference.com/perl ools/

Now, you’re ready to share your content. Visit the following
web sites to submit your new channel and enable other web
sites to display your content:


If you’d like to display RSS content on your web site,
you’ll need a script to fetch the content. RSS Fetcher
(http://www.mimanet.com/scripts/rss_fetcher.html) is a free
script that will fetch content, format it as HTML and store
it in a file on your server. The content can then be
displayed on your web site.

You can locate RSS files to display on your web site at the
following web addresses:


For further information about RSS, read Jonathan Eisenzopf’s
tutorial entitled, “Using RSS News Feeds.”
http://www.webreference.com/perl utorial/8/

If you have content that you regularly update, give RSS a
try. Providing free content is an extremely powerful method
of increasing your web site traffic.

About the Author

Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebook Starter – A complete
ebook design kit. Subscribe to Etips, for a wealth of quality
information to assist you in Web Design, Internet Marketing
& Ecommerce. All new subscribers receive a free copy of
the highly acclaimed ebook, “Killer Internet Marketing
Strategies.” http://www.web-source.net/cgi-bin/t.cgi?l=bl1

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