Why you should have feeds on your blogs – user benefit

If you have not implemented a feed on your blog, you really should. A feed is a way to develop a regular readership. Of course, to develop a readership, you should be writing about stuff that interests people / is of some quality / or is controversial enough that it keeps a committed readership (the subject of what makes a blog successful is a big enough topic for a separate post).

So what is a feed and why should you do it ?
Consider the average reader ? He / She would be getting content from a number of places, all of them providing regular content that gets funneled into the feed reader of the end user. To not provide a feed would mean that the reader would skip getting the content on a regular basis (it is a bit egoistical to assume that a blog would be so interesting that a number of users would bookmark the blog and visit it on a regular basis).

So what is a web feed ?
A web feed (or news feed) is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. A feed is basically a stripped down version of your site which is viewed by a feed reader. Most of them pull the information into your site via a format known as XML or RSS. There are a variety of formats available for feeds, but the RSS version seems to be the most common and popular. Feed Reeders, also known as news aggregators, translate the feed into a viewable page, putting all new posts from a website on one page. These can be viewed by excerpt or full article formats. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation, which is performed by an Internet aggregator. A web feed is also sometimes referred to as a syndicated feed. Besides providing content, a web feed also has the following benefits for users:
1. Users not have to provide user identifiable information such as email for subscribing to a feed (in the age of spam, this is very important)
2. The feeder programs can be sophisticated and allow sorting of feeds, making it easier to read the feed content easily
3. Removing a feed subscription is very easy and painless; there is none of the tedium of sending out an email for removing from a list and so on
4. Users get content that is updated automatically, they don’t have to hunt for when the latest update is available
5. Access to the site and more information is only a single click away – most feeds have a link to the actual site
6. Less time searching and hunting for commonly needed information and resources

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