Once you have created your feed, there are just one or two more things to do. None of these are mandatory, but they are all so simple, and give so much to the richness of the Net, that you are encouraged to invest the little time needed.
Place a link to the RSS feed on your page! Many people forget to do this and wonder why, after looking at their server logs, no one is subscribed to their feed. There are standard icons emerging from each of the news aggregators and desktop readers ? some of these are freely available for this use, but even a simple text link is better than nothing at all.
Chapter 10 deals with news aggregators in more detail, so for now we'll look only at the postcreation chores. Registering your feed at the major aggregators will help people and automatic services find your information. For example, most of the desktop news readers available today will use the lists of feeds available at Syndic8 as a menu of feeds available to their users. Being part of this is a good thing. Here are a few of the major aggregators and their URLs:
Once that's done, you need to edit the HTML of your front page (the page that your RSS feed links to from its link element).
Your front page needs some metadata within it. First, we have the line that will allow for automatic discovery of your RSS feed. Enter this between the head elements within your page:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="url/to/rss/file">
This allows search engines, browsers, and desktop news readers to detect if the page they are looking at is represented by an RSS feed. It is an automatic version of placing a link or an icon on the page.
Syndic8 has a few other built-in features that aid with its cataloging and require some metadata to be added to your page. These features deal with the geographical origin of the feed and its subject's place within the Open Directory at http://www.dmoz.org. If you are registering your feed with Open Directory, it is worthwhile to add these lines:
<META NAME="dc.creator.e-mail" CONTENT="firstname.lastname@example.org"> <META NAME="dc.creator.name" CONTENT="Your Name">
Then find the correct place within the Open Directory (http://www.dmoz.org) and add it to your site's page, like so (if your site is not in the Open Directory, take this opportunity to submit it!):
<META NAME="dmoz.id" CONTENT="Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/Tools">
Now visit the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names (TGN), at http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/, and find the location that best represents your web site's location. Make a note of the name of the place, the name of the nation, the latitude, the longitude, and the TGN number.
Then go to Appendix B of this book and find the country code of your nation. Use this information to add the following lines to your site (replace my information with yours):
<meta name="tgn.id" content="7011781" /> <meta name="tgn.name" content="London" /> <meta name="tgn.nation" content="United Kingdom" /> <meta name="geo.position" content="51.500;-0.167" /> <meta name="geo.placename" content="London, England" /> <meta name="geo.country" content="UK" />
Now post a message to the Syndic8 mailing list (email@example.com) asking for a Syndic8 editor to flick the proverbial metadata switch on your feed. People will now be able to search for you by location and subject.