Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why Syndicate My Web Information

I was asked today, "What are the benefits of syndication or creating news feeds?" From a reader's perspective, syndicated feeds make reading the news or information from the web more efficient and possibly more effective. Without syndication and feeds to get news and information of interest, in a haphazard fashion, I use different methods and resources to read news. In most cases, I have to go directly to the web page to get my information. I don't know when updates are made so I must deliberately visit the page (if I remember to).

News items are also emailed to me; examples are AU Daily and Computerworld .What is wrong with getting news through email? With 40 to 80 pieces of legitimate emails a day, news items just clutter my mail box. I manage some of the news items by filtering them into folders, but that too has become inefficient. Another problem is that news items embedded in email requires a click to go to a web page. An example is the way Computerworld displays their news in emails. I must select link to the article to read it. This action opens a browser or replaces the information in my current browser. Additionally, keeping my email mailbox within the required quota is becoming more and more cumbersome. This is even more cumbersome on my hand-held device.

Now that I am using news feeds, I am able to get news and information all in one place. I can read any item of interest, mark the items that I do not want to read as "read", or leave them as they are for later reading. The news reader indicates when a new item has been updated on any given site. Another advantage is that you don't have to manage SPAM in news feeders.

It is a lot more efficient to go to one place for news and read it when I want to. Ben, founder of Trixie Tracker, does a great job explaining how feeds work from a reader's perspective.

A feed reader like Google Reader allows you "to add a list of your favorite blogs to it. When a blog on your list is updated it shows up in your list. Now you don't have to run around checking to see if your favorite blogs have been updated. Instead you'll get an immediate notification when a new post ...is published."

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