An RSS is a means of publicizing updates about websites. It may
or may not include a summary and photos of the latest posting. But those that provide summaries (thus Rich Site
Summary) allow users to skim through the article so that they could decide later on if they want to access the
website source. The RSS feed usually contains the title of the update originating from the website. It is also
usually the link to the website source.
What are the benefits of RSS?
RSS gives benefits to both readers (users) and web
1. It gives you the latest updates: Whether it is about the weather, new music, software
upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updates site learn about the latest as soon as it comes
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. It lessens the clutter in your inbox:
Although your email address will be required
to enjoy the services of online RSS aggregators, RSS does not use your email address to send the
5. It is spam free: Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of
your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails.
6. Unsubscribing is hassle-free: Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked
questions on why s/he is unsubscribing and then the user would be asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you
have to do is to delete the RSS feed from your aggregator.
7. 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. This is advantageous to both the web user and the website owner since advertising becomes targeted;
those who are actually interested in their products are kept posted.
What are the drawbacks of RSS?
The disadvantages of RSS use are brought about by its being a
new technology and some user-preference concerns.
1. Some users prefer receiving email updates over an RSS
2. Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS
feeds: For conciseness and ease of
publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for
some web-based aggregators
3. The identity of the source website can be
confusing: Since RSS feeds do not
display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what feed a user is actually
4. Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed
to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they would not know the reasons why users
unsubscribe which could be important in improving their advertising.
5. RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the
6. Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief
summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.
7. Since it is a new technology, many sites still do not