Quick and Dirty RSS

Note: This post is of my own personal opinion and is not endorsed or supported by any local, state, or federal government agency.

I’ve given several presentations on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and shown people just the basics about how to create a simple feed. Nothing fancy. However, during a conversation I was having with an individual at another agency, I presented an idea that was pretty easy for anyone to create a custom RSS feed with absolutely no coding experience and be able to send anything out via your feed…and track it’s effectiveness.

How? Delicious and Feedburner.

This might not be the best option for everyone, but it gives you an idea of how simple it is to have your own custom RSS feed. You don’t need to use FeedBurner, but it does help with tracking the effectiveness of your RSS feed.

Simply put, set up an account with Delicious.com. Then start saving pages to your delicious account (could be any page you like, or even your organizations news releases). Make sure you provide a good description (usually your first paragraph of the page) and then add the appropriate tags. When you’re done visit your Delicious page (delicious.com/youraccountname) and scroll to the bottom where you’ll see your own RSS feed. Then, go to FeedBurner (http://feedburner.google.com) and set up an account there. Add the RSS feed from Delicious as your FeedBurner feed. Customize the feed to your hearts content in FeedBurner. FeedBurner has options to modify the title and other information of your Delicious feed. You’ll want to do this because, by default, the Delicious feed isn’t very clear in terms of what the title and description of the feed are for. FeedBurner will give a URL to use and distribute wherever you want.

There you go. That’s quick and dirty. Again, it might not be for everyone because you are relying upon two services to generate and serve your RSS feed but it does give you an option.

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