Jan Karel recently added RSS to his excellent Excel site, ADS. I’ve subscribed via Bloglines. Clearly RSS is a terrific technology for websites that are updated frequently, like
Excel Overdose Daily Dose of Excel. But it may be even more useful for static websites that are updated infrequently. ADS is not a very good example of that because Jan Karel is updating like a bat out of hell, but there are plenty of Excel sites out there that only add pages once per month or once per year. I think RSS would be invaluable on those kinds of sites.
Take The Spreadsheet Page as an example. It has outstanding content and I certainly would want to know if there was new or updated content on the site. Since it already has everything you’d want to know about Excel, it is understandably updated infrequently. I could check the first page every day or every week and any new new content would likely be listed there. Or I could open Bloglines, as I do everyday anyway, and in the course of reading all my favorite Excel blogs, I could scan the list of static sites for new content. If there’s only one new page a year, it costs me nothing extra to check it every time I use my RSS reader.
Jan Karel pointed to Making an RSS Feed as a nice tutorial. If you have an Excel site, static or dynamic, I encourage you to have an RSS feed. Right now I’m subscribed to JKP-ADS, Methods in Excel, JMT Forum, and several KB alerts sites, all of which I would consider static.
I’m not an expert on RSS, I just like to use it. There may be some downside to having of which I’m not aware. Maybe every time I open Bloglines, it loads your xml page and costs you bandwidth. I simply don’t know, but if anyone knows the downside to it, be sure to leave a comment here.