Shared RSS FAQs
Why does this site exist?
RSS Syndication was designed to help people find out about new content on the web,
long before the search engines get around to finding it. It makes it easy for people
to find out about new content that interests them, without having to return to the
search engines and wade through all the material they have seen before. For sites
with frequently changing content, it has worked well for them to create their own
RSS feed and update it as new content is added to their website. But what about all
those sites that only add an occasional new article or story to their website, or
who publish a newsletter once per month? Or those who just can't take the time to
figure the ins and outs of formatting an RSS feed? An RSS feed that only gets updated
once every few months is of little value, very few people will add it to their search
list in their aggregator. Shared RSS solves this problem by lumping together articles
from different sites covering the same topic, and lets them announce the availability
of their new material in a feed shared with others publishing on the same topic. This
makes the feeds more useful to the consumer, so they are more likely to add the link
to their aggregator. It benefits the publisher by making more people aware of their
material as soon as it is put on-line. See About Shared RSS for
information on how to be notified about new feeds as they are added.
How does Shared RSS benefit publishers?
People publish material on the World Wide Web because they want others to see it.
Typically, people find material by using a search engine, or clicking on a link at
another site. The link may be a paid advertisement, or it may have been placed on
the other site by the webmaster to benefit visitors to that site. Occasionally people
find content by typing the URL into their browser, after seeing it in print or having
been recommended by a friend. If your site has an RSS feed, that is one more way for
people to find your content. Visitors to your site who find it useful may click on the
XML icon to get the location of your RSS feed for their aggregator. Or they may find
the feed through one of the indexes to available RSS feeds. If you continue to publish
material they are interested in, the RSS syndication will help bring them back to
your site by making them aware of the new content.
How does Shared RSS benefit consumers?
With the tons of new material being added to the Internet daily, it is hard to keep up
with the 'information overload.' It just isn't practical to search Google every day for
the same keywords that describe your area of interest -- the same sites will keep coming
up over and over, and you just don't have enough time in a day to search each site every
day to see if they have added anything new. Shared RSS is organized by topic, using the
upper levels of the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) schema to organize submissions. Subscribe to the channels that
cover your topics of interest using any aggregator, and you have just one place to check
each day to see what is new. It is more efficient, takes less time, and yields the best
results. If other sites with RSS feeds cover your topics of interest, subscribe to those as
well as Shared RSS, and you will be on-top of all the latest developments as they happen.
There are almost 600 thousand DMOZ categories, do you have a feed for each one?
Perhaps most of those eventually -- though of course it depends on the cooperation of
publishers to submit their material, and on everyone else to make all publishers and
consumers aware of this service. To make the project slightly more manageable, we
have eliminated two top categories found in DMOZ - the 'Adult' category has material
we don't want to be associated with (and what's really new about any of that anyhow?),
and the 'World' category has material in other languages, and we are sticking to
English for now. And to start, we are only using the top-level categories (over 6000 categories). As publishers submit an item for
any category, it is added to the existing feed for that category, or a new feed is
created if one doesn't already exist - so we only have feeds for those categories for which we have
listings. When we begin to get too much information submitted to a category, we will
break it down further into sub-categories.
How long will each submission remain in the RSS feed?
That depends on how many items are submitted for that topic. We aim to have
10 to 15 items in each feed, so long as there are fewer than 10, the earlier
items will remain. As more items are submitted, the older ones get removed.
For popular topics, there may be more than 15 items because each item will
remain at least one hour (the typical duration between aggregator visits on
popular feeds). For rarely used topics, specific items could remain for months.
What should I submit?
Each time you add new ORIGINAL CONTENT to your web site, submit the link, title and
a short description for that item. Lists of links are not original content, unless
annotated. Articles, reports, etc. are original content if you wrote them, or the
author submitted them to your site only. Pictures, databases, and other resources
may be original content. If a category exists on
dmoz.org for the material outside
the Adult or World categories, then submit a listing to the corresponding feed on
this site (our category will often be higher in the category tree than the original).
Selecting Categories when Submitting to Shared RSS for
What listings are prohibited?
You may NOT list pornographic, obscene or illegal material, material that infringes
on others copyrights or privacy, or material that has not been recently (within one
week) added to your website. Shared RSS feeds are for NEW material only, older pages
can not be listed. Pages that are purely advertising, and have no content outside of
self-promotion, are not allowed. Publishers found to be violating these guidelines may
be permanently banned from the system.
What about my email newsletter?
If you also make a copy of your newsletter available on your website, then it may be
included here. Do not submit the newsletter itself, but submit the address (URL) and
include the title of each article in that issue of your newsletter as part of the description.
Some newsletter publishers prefer to publish the content of their newsletter
via RSS, rather than just a summary -- if that is your goal you should establish your
own RSS feed -- see About RSS for some links that will help you
I have a page where I post a new photo each month, should I submit that?
Yes, submit the link and a short description of your photo. On the submission form
there is an optional box labled 'expiration' where you can enter the date it will be
removed, so we know to delete the listing from our database.