Introducing Really Simple Syndication in ASP.NET

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an XML standard for declaring content entries for small content feeds. The RSS format has gained popularity over the years due to its simplicity. The XML file formatted according to the RSS specification is either found as a physical file or is obtained via a Web site that handles the request and sends the content over the Internet to the client. The RSS format is as given below


The XML format for RSS declares that the XML must have a root element of <rss>, which identifies the document. This is shown in the following sample snippet. The <rss> element contains one <channel> element and then many <item> elements that hold the element.

<rss>
<channel>
<item/>
</channel>
</rss>

Most of the elements declared by the RSS specification are optional. However, some elements need to be declared to make the code functional.

The <channel> element should contain the following children:
• Item (at least 1)
• Title
• Link
• Description

The <item> tag should contain the following children:
• Title
• Link
• Description

Each RSS channel can contain up to 15 items and is easily parsed using Perl or other open source software. After you complete the creation and validation of your RSS text file, register it at the various aggregators. Now, any website can grab and display your feed regularly, driving traffic your way. Update your RSS file, and all the external sites that subscribe to your feed will be automatically updated.

RSS can not only display your news on websites and headline viewers but also display data in products and services like PDAs, mobile phones, email ticklers, and voice updates. RSS also enables you to automate email newsletters easily. In addition, affiliate networks and partners of like-minded sites can access each other's RSS feeds and automatically display the new stories from the other sites in the network, which as a whole drives more traffic. Plenty of RSS aggregators are available that automatically grab RSS files from the content providers and present the news in a many ways.

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