A web feed is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content in one place, as soon as it's published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from. Feeds are generally known as RSS ('Really Simple Syndication').
See how an RSS feed works
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) website publishes news via RSS for individuals or other websites to receive automatically updated content via a ‘combined feed’. The RSS feeds contain only a title, excerpt or description, and link back to the original, more detailed content. EFSA also have RSS feeds for specific news on events, current vacancies or recent publications.
Advantages of RSS
- Pushing short updates to people about a specific website.
- RSS is about driving traffic to your website.
Disadvantages of RSS
- Not suitable for websites that update frequently.
- Does not always work properly and its popularity is being reduced.
- Tends to be replaced by other sources such as Twitter and Google alerts but, if organised properly, it can provide important added value.