Recently posted on the FP Passport blog, The truth about RSS gives an overview of the results of a recent RSS study that looks at the RSS feeds produced by 19 major news outlets. The complete study (and its results) can be found here: International News and Problems with the News Media’s RSS Feeds.
If you are interested in my part in all this, read the Study Methodology section (which describes my role down under the heading ‘How the Research Team Operated’) and the What is RSS? page (which I authored, and describes both the basics of RSS as well as some other web based tools we used in the study – YahooPipes and Google Docs).
Why should you care about RSS? RSS feeds are becoming more common on archives websites. It should be treated as just another tool in the outreach toolbox for making sure that your archives maintains or improves its visibility online. To get an idea of how they are being used, consider the example of the UK National Archives. They currently publish three RSS feeds:
- Latest news Get the latest news and events for The National Archives.
- New document releases Highlights of new document releases from The National Archives.
- Podcasts Listen to talks, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives.
The results of the RSS study I link to above shed light on the kinds of choices that are made by content providers who publish feeds – and on the expectations of those who use them. If you don’t know what RSS is – this is a great intro. If you use and love (or hate) RSS already – I would love to know your thoughts on the study’s conclusions.