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Emergence of Internet as a Marketing Channel

RSS changing the rules

RSS belongs to a family of web formats. This particular abbreviation can be used for the following:
Really Simple Syndication
Rich Site Summary
RDF Site Summary



The RSS file format is now used by a wide variety of news websites and weblogs. The specific RSS format is XML; it transfers the data as an XML file that is either called “RSS feed” or “web feed” or “RSS stream” or “RSS channel”.

The beginning of RSS:

RSS came into existence after a long line of similar formats that were used for syndication. However, none of them became as popular as this because of one drawback – a majority of these formats were only programmed to work with a single service. These early versions were born from ‘push’ and ‘pull’ technologies; Backweb and Poincast are two examples of this category.

The first version of RSS was RDF Site Summary that was produced in the year 1999 by Dan Libby from Netscape. This became fairly popular and was named as RSS 0.9 from the various suggestions and comments by the users. Libby then formed a format that was based on the similar model and called it RSS 0.91. Unfortunately, RSS and XML were both left off by Netscape without any owner just at the time when it was gaining popularity. To save this, a working group and mailing list, RSS DEV was set up by the various patrons to allow XML to continue its development. After a variety of modifications, in November 2005, Microsoft proposed to rename its Simple Sharing Extensions to RSS. One month later, Microsoft and Outlook both came forward to announce that in their blogs they would be using the ‘feed icon’ that was first used in Mozilla Firefox browser. This picture was used as an industry standard for both RSS and related formats like Atom.

The many uses of RSS:

The use of a feed reader (also called an aggregator) is to examine a list of “feeds” on behalf of the web user and present updated articles, if any. If you frequent the Internet, you can easily locate web feeds on almost all the websites, big or small. While some of these only provide RSS or Atom format, quite a few even permit the users to choose between RSS or Atom formatted web feed. 

One can use RSS aware programs for various operating models. Client-side readers and aggregators are typically constructed as stand alone programs or extensions to existing programs like the web browsers and email users or readers. Most of the browsers used today have incorporated modes to support the RSS ‘feeds’. Moreover, there are programs available which can transform the RSS feed in to different usenet articles which can be viewed through the softwares like Mozilla Thunderbird or Forte Agent. However, certain Internet based feed readers like YourLiveWire on the other hand does not need any software installation for the consumers’s feeds to be viewable on any computer that has an access to the Web.