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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 they are 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). See Selecting Categories when Submitting to Shared RSS for more details.

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 do that.

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.



© 2004 by Andrew J. Morris -- www.SharedRSS.com -- All Rights Reserved