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RSS What Is It?

The other day I was asked about RSS and how it works, after trying to explain it, I realized I couldn't give an exact definition of RSS, Syndication, Feeds and so on.

So I decided to dig a little deeper into the subject on RSS, and try to come up with a logical and simple explanation of what it is, and why I believe that if your church or ministry website does not use RSS then you are potentially having your message fall on deaf ears, or even worse not being seen or heard at all.

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I understood the concept but not the technology behind it.

This article is basically what I've learned about RSS and Syndication, but as a disclaimer, I will be the first to admit that I still don't confess to be an expert on the subject.

On that note, Lets start with

What is RSS?

RSS, is commonly known as Really Simple Syndication, it uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) to deliver content from point A to point B.

For me to try and explain it in a way that even I can understand it, I have to think of RSS in a similar way to email, It allows publishers of content to get their content to it's subscribers, But RSS goes way beyond just simply sending content to one designated location, ie; your email inbox.

RSS is all about syndicating content, which means that multiple sources can syndicate with, or tune into the content supplier and get content automatically delivered to them every time new content becomes available- Did I Mention Automatically.

Unlike email where you are restricted to where you can send and redistribute content, RSS is potentially unlimited in the way it can distribute and then republish content throughout the web.

For example

Lets say that your church has a blog and I want to keep up to date with what's happening in your church, instead of me visiting your blog everyday in the hope that you have added some new content, all I need to do to keep up to date with your website is subscribe to your RSS feed from your blog and I will automatically have your content delivered straight to me the next time you publish anything to your website,

I can also choose to have your blog posts or any other content for that matter, sent to my Email inbox, Feed Reader, or I can even republish your posts, on my blog all automatically.

Which means, if I decided to republish your blog posts on my site, you are now having your content spread even further throughout the web with more links pointing back to your site and your message or content is being seen or used by even more people, result= Greater exposure for you.

Or let's look at it from another angle,

Lets say that you want to display the content from someone else's blog on your site.

Lets imagine your church was supporting a ministry in a third world country, you help them set up a blog, and the local pastor agrees to post regular updates about the life of the church and the progress they are having within their local area. You could then grab the RSS feed from their blog and display the content directly on your site.

This will help to promote their ministry, and because your regular blog readers can see what's happening on a regular and consistent basis, it may also help or encourage people in your church to support the ministry financially or in some other way.

By having the content regularly and automatically updating itself on your site, you don't need to do any extra work and the content is viewable from your website, which also means it's convenient for your regular visitors, because they don't have to visit another site to find out what's going on.

RSS Vs Email.

A major benefit that RSS has over email is, it doesn't get filtered out through heavy spam filtering software's. Your content gets delivered every time which means that content distribution through RSS is far more reliable, it's faster, and it's cheaper.

"RSS is quickly becoming the standard for content delivery and distribution on the web."

RSS in a nutshell, is a really simple concept with incredible power that is taking the distribution of content to a whole new level, and by that I am talking about the type of content that can be delivered via RSS.

Lets assume that you want to record your talks on a Sunday or you want to record some healing testimonies or even take some videos of your services, these formats can all be sent out and distributed through RSS. Ever heard of You Tube or Podcasts?

You can even advertise your church through RSS and send out advertisements through someone Else's blog posts.

So how Do I Set Up An RSS Feed?

If your website has been correctly set up using Wordpress, by default you have RSS already set up.

If on the other hand you have a static site built using .HTML I suggest you talk to a web technician and ask them to set up an RSS feed for your site or just rebuild your site using a blog software or Content Management System like Wordpress.

If you follow along with this site you will learn all you will need to know on how to set up and manage your own websites using Wordpress.

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Posted in Software Post Date 08/30/2016


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