Web Feeds and
You’ve just added some great new content to your web site.
? Of course, your current visi-
tors will appreciate the content. They may even tell a few friends about it. But there are technologies
that you can leverage to facilitate and encourage them to do some free marketing for you.
This chapter explores web feeds and social bookmarking, two technologies that web site visitors
can use to access and promote content that they enjoy. Encouraging visitors to do so is a vital part
of viral marketing. This chapter discusses various ways to accomplish this, and walks you through
three exercises where you:
Create your own RSS feeds.
Syndicate RSS and Atom feeds.
Add social bookmarking icons to your pages and feeds.
is a mechanism used to distribute content over the web, in XML-based formats, with-
out attaching any visual presentation to it. The typical way for a person to read your content is to
visit your web pages, retrieving their content laid out in HTML format. This doesn’t work with
web feeds, because they contain no presentation. Instead, people use specialized programs that
retrieve and display the data.
Web feeds are used to disseminate information automatically — to humans as well as other web
sites. They are a very effective vehicle for information distribution, and they’ve become very pop-
ular because they make it easy for somebody to read news, or recent blog posts, from his or her
favorite sources. Web feeds are also nicely described at
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