Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Create an RSS Feed for Your Website Step-by-Step

By Michael Fleischner

Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I'll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content - even if you know very little about RSS feeds.

RSS Defined
According to Wikipedia, RSS is a simple XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites. Using RSS, webmasters can put their content into a standardized format, which can be viewed and organized through RSS-aware software or automatically conveyed as new content on another website.

Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I'll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content - even if you know very little about RSS feeds.

Feeds are typically linked with the word "Subscribe", an orange rectangle , or with the letters RSS or XML. Many news aggregators publish subscription buttons for use on Web pages to simplify the process of adding news feeds.

Choosing the Content you want to Syndicate
Okay, so you're interested in syndication but aren't exactly sure what you should be syndicating. There's really no hard and fast rule here. Howerver, keep in mind that anything you plan to syndicate via RSS should be unique, of value to a given audience, and something that gets updated on a regular basis.

So How do you Create an RSS Feed?
All RSS feeds are written using a code type called XML. If you're not familiar with XML, don't let that scare you off. I'll provide the specific code you need and instructions on what to do with it.

To begin, you'll need to create an RSS file that contains a Title, Description, and Link URL. This information will be used by the RSS reader when individuals subscribe to your RSS feed. Follow these simple steps.

1. Go to your "Start Menu" in the lower left-hand corner of your computer screen. Clíck on "All Programs" and navigate to Accessories. There you'll find an option called "Notepad". Notepad is a simple text editor that you will use to develop your RSS scrípt.

2. Write the RSS scrípt which contains information about your website or content page and information about the content you'll be syndicating. To do so, copy the following into Notepad. Replace the bold content with your own site's information.

This RSS feed should be viewed using an RSS Reader or RSS Aggregator. Firefox users clíck the Subscribe to feed icon.
Feed URL: Marketing articles covering a variety of marketing topics en-us If you own a small business, you probably don't have a lot to spend on marketing. These simple techniques will help you generate more referrals than you can handle.

That's it. As noted above, be sure to use the Title of your website and article, links, and descriptions. When your done, save your file by selecting File, Save as, from the top bar in the Notepad window. Warning: name your file with a .xml extension but save as text.(example:

Be sure not to use any ampersands or quotes in your code as this may cause an error. XML requires ampersands to be replaced in the code with "&" and quotes with "" whatever is included in your quotes. The best advice I can give is just don't include quotes or ampersands and you won't have any coding issues.

3. Save, Upload, and Validate your .xml code. After saving your RSS file via notepad, the next step is to upload your .xml file to your web server. This file should be placed in the same directory as your homepage or the directory of the page you've selected to syndicate.

Now that we've created and uploaded your RSS feed, we must validate it. By doing so, we know that the feed is active and will work when individuals subscribe. To validate your feed, visit and enter your feed URL. The URL of your feed is simply the URL of the .xml file you just uploaded to your server. So, if your file was saved to your website's main directory and was called "rssfeed", then simply enter your website's URL, followed by /rssfeeds.xml. Once validated, your RSS feed is ready to be syndicated.

4. Place your RSS code on your website. The best way to do this is to copy the RSS button and include a link to the RSS feed you just created. You can grab the RSS or XML image by simply visiting a website like and right mouse clicking the image. Save the image (give it a name like RSS.gif) and copy it onto your server. The code should look like this:

rss feed for my website

Be sure to replace the information above with your own feed link and image link.

5. Subscribe to your own feed. After you've uploaded all of your pages to your live site or testing server, open Internet Explorer and clíck on your own RSS button. You should be taken to a dialogue box that asks if you'd like to subscribe to your feed. Subscribe and confirm that the feed has been added to your líst of RSS feeds (it should appear in a dialogue box on the left hand side of the page).

Note: If you're using Firefox, you will only receive a text page when clicking on your RSS button. Those using the firefox browsers can clíck on a small icon that resides on their browser
nav bar to add your feed. Additionally the text file contains your feed URL which can also be used.

6. Ping aggregators to let them know that you've created an RSS feed. In order to let the world wide web know that your feed is up and running, you must give them a Ping. This is very easy to do - just go to and choose the appropriate sites to inform. Select blog related sites if you're a blog and non-blog related sites for other content. Complete the information and Ping.

Another site you should Ping is Yahoo! Simply visit the Yahoo! RSS submit page and add your feed URL. This will let the big boys know that your syndicating.

A final note. Whenever you want to syndicate new content, you will need to update your .xml file with a link to the content and a revised description. Once you've done so, upload the file to your server, replacing the existing .xml file and the code will do the rest.
Related Articles about RSS, converting RSS feeds to Java Script:

About The AuthorMichael Fleischner is an
internet marketing expert with more than 12 years marketing experience. He has appeared on The Today Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. For more free marketing articles like this one, visit

Friday, January 12, 2007

Introduction to Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks

Introduction to Copyrights,Patents, and Trademarks
By Deepak Dutta

What is a copyright? Can everything be copyrighted? A copyright is the expression of an idea. The idea itself is not copyrighted. Ideas can be patented and I will talk about patents later.

Let's consider the example of a story: a poor man who found lots of cash on his way back to his home from his work. He decided to keep the cash to improve his financial situation. But he could not sleep at night because he was haunted by strange voices that told him to find the owner and return the cash. This idea cannot be protected. Anybody can write a short story based on the idea. What is protected is how the author expresses the idea in the form of texts, illustrations, drawings, photographs, etc.

Once an expression is copyrighted, others can still use it for fair use. You can tape a few 15 seconds video clips from a copyrighted TV program and post it in your video blogs about a commentary on the program or broadcaster, etc. This will be considered a fair use and you will not infringe the copyright.

After a copyrighted material expires, it falls into the public domain. The life of a copyrighted material is the life of the author, plus 70 years. The public domain copyrighted materials can be reproduced without any infringement. For example, if you have an old picture with expired copyright, you can post the picture in your website.
In the USA, the Copyright Act of 1976 governs all copyrights. The Copyright Act does not protect any ideas, procedures, process, systems, and methods of operations, concepts, principle or discovery regardless of how it is expressed. It is the expression that is protected by the Copyright Act. You cannot copyright titles, names, slogans, and short phrases even if those have new ideas.

As mentioned earlier, the life span of a copyrighted material is the author's life, plus 70 years in most cases. There are a few exceptions to this rule and they are: un-renewed copyrighted materials published pre-1964, materials published before 1978 without a copyrighted notice, and materials published by the US Government.

All copyrighted materials should be fixed in a tangible medium (papers, CDs, DVDs, etc.). If it is not fixed in a tangible medium, it is not copyrighted. For example, your speech to the graduating class that was never recorded, taped, or published is not protected under the US Copyright Act. Your can register your copyrighted materials with the US Copyright Office. All expressions of ideas are copyrighted regardless of whether they are registered with the Copyright Office or not. If you register the expression with the Copyright Office, you can receive statutory damages and attorney's fees if an infringement occurs. If the material is not registered with the Copyrighted Office, you can only recover actual damages.

A patent holder of an invention has the right to exclude others from using, selling, and making the invention. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) awards patents. There are three kinds of patents: utility, design, and plant patents.

The most frequently used patents are utility patents. They have a life span of 20 years from the effective filing date if the filing date is after June 8, 1995. A utility patent also requires periodic maintenance fees. A utility patent must be a novel, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, manufacture, or compositions of matter or improvement to the same. There are three things that define a utility patent. First, it must be novel. Nobody should have invented, published, used, or manufactured the invention before. Second, one should be able to do something useful with the invention. If it is just novel without any usefulness, it cannot be patented. A patentable invention should not be obvious to the person with ordinary skills in the same technology space related to the invention.

A design patent is the appearance or aesthetic of an article and it has a life span of 14 years after the patent is issued. A plant patent, as the name applies, protects a distinct plant produced asexually. It has life span of 20 years from the filing date.

A trademark is word, symbol, design, or a combination of one or more of these items. It is used to identify the source of goods or services of one company and differentiate a company's goods and services from others. A trademark should not be confusingly similar to other existing names or symbols.

A trademark is registered with the USPTO. It can also be registered through the state's Secretary of State's office. If the trademark is not registered, the rights to the trademark may be geographically limited. You cannot use the symbol ® to represent a mark if it is not registered.

If you want to maintain a trademark for your business, you must actively use it. Just registering a trademark without using it actively will result in diminished rights over time. Never allow a trademark to become a generic word. For example, the trademark "Aspirin" by Bayer has become a generic word to represent acetylsalicylic acid. Others can use it without causing any infringement. When you see a trademark used by authors as a noun or a verb, it may become a generic word. Trademark owners vigorously pursue authors from using the trademark as a noun or a verb. A trademark should always be used as an adjective. For example, Google is preventing others from using the word Google as a verb.

About The AuthorDr. Deepak Dutta is the creator of - an interactive social network website based on user shared text and picture contents on any topics. His other website - is one of the oldest online classifieds sites.