Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a tool useful for saving or retaining updated information on websites that you frequently visit or websites that are your favorite. RSS gives benefits to both readers (users) and web publishers.
- It gives you the latest updates. Once you have subscribed to a website, the publisher will keep you up-dated. Whether it's the weather, new music, software upgrades, local news, or a new posting from a rarely up-dated site.
- It gives the power of subscription to the user. Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently.
- RSS is spam free. RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates, thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails. It saves on surfing time. Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the user’s time by helping s/he decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net.
- Unsubscribing is hassle-free. You are asked questions on why you no longer want to be subsribed. Then you would be asked to confirm your actions. Now all you have to do is to delete the RSS feed.
- It can be used as an advertising or marketing tool. Users who subscribe or syndicate product websites receive the latest news on products and services without the website sending spam mail.
The disadvantages of RSS use are brought about by its being a new technology and some user-preference concerns.
- Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds.
- The identity of the source website dos not display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what website the data has come from.
- Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits.
- RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server. Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.
- Since it is a new type of XML code, most sites still do not support RSS.