Podcast is rich media, such as audio or video, distributed via RSS.
Feeds like this one provide updates whenever there is new content. We
make it easy to receive content updates in popular podcatchers.
You may recognize the universal feed icon or these “chicklets” from
your favorite Web sites, blogs and podcasts. These icons represent
content in any format — text, audio or video — to which you can
subscribe and read/watch/listen using a feed reader.
Consumer Bottom Line: Subscribing to feeds
makes it possible to review a large amount of online content in a
very short time.
Publisher Bottom Line: Feeds permit instant
distribution of content and the ability to make it "subscribable."
Advertiser Bottom Line: Advertising in feeds
overcomes many of the shortcomings that traditional marketing
channels encounter including spam filters, delayed distribution,
search engine rankings and general “in-box” noise.
Who publishes feeds?
Most of the biggest names on the web offer content feeds including
BBC News Headlines,
Amazon.com (including a
podcast!), and many more. In addition, hundreds of thousands of
bloggers, podcasters and videobloggers publish feeds to keep themselves
better connected to their readers/listeners/admirers/critics. Apple,
through its iTunes Music Store, offers tens of thousands of audio and
podcasts for download, each of which is powered by a feed.
How do I read feeds?
If you want to browse and subscribe to feeds, you have many choices.
Today, there are more than 2,000 different feed reading applications,
also known as “news aggregators” (for text, mostly) or “podcatchers”
(for podcasts). There are even readers that work exclusively on mobile
Some require a small purchase price but are tops for ease-of-use and
ship with dozens of feeds pre-loaded so you can explore the feed
"universe" right away. Free readers are available as well; a search for
"Feed reader" or "Feed aggregator" at popular search sites will yield
many results. A handful of popular feed readers are listed in the
sidebar on this page.
A typical interface for a feed reader will display your feeds and the
number of new (unread) entries within each of those feeds. You can also
organize your feeds into categories and even clip and save your favorite
entries (with certain applications).
If you prefer, you can use an online, web-based service to track and
manage feeds. Online services give you the advantage of being able to
access your feed updates anywhere you can find a web browser. Also,
upgrades and new features are added automatically.
How can I publish my own feeds?
If you have a Web site, blog, audio/video content or even photos, you
can offer a feed of your content as an option. If you need one check out
our RSS feed Syndication Services. If you are
using a popular blogging platform or publishing tool like TypePad,
Wordpress or Blogger, you likely publish a feed automatically. Even
other, non-blogging sites like social photo-sharing service
Flickr offer feeds
of content you produce that others can retrieve.
The new method for easily distributing online content is often called
a web feed and the technical format that makes it possible is called
RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary,
and/or Rockdale, Sandow, and Southern (Railroad) if you trust the good
AcronymFinder.com. RSS is based on XML, a widely used standard for
textual information exchange between applications on the Internet. RSS
feeds can be viewed as plain text files, but they're really designed for
We should point out that RSS is just one standard for expressing
feeds as XML. Another well-known choice is Atom. Both formats have their
boosters, and it does not appear that consolidation toward a single
standard is imminent. However, most feed subscribers simply want fresh
content and don't care at all about the underlying protocol.
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