Good and Bad RSS Syndication Practices

I have been asked by a number of people to list what I consider are good and bad RSS syndication practices. I reserve the right to modify this list as thoughts and ideas come in that I think are worthy of adding to the list.

  • Good things Media Sites do with Syndicated Content
    • Attribution with Hyper link back to Content Origin Point
    • Original RSS Feed clearly seen and linked to.
    • No other confusing RSS links are associated media listing
    • Audio and Video Media is not altered or trans-coded
    • Audio and Video Media is not cached direct link only
    • Publishing Author Name on Media Listing
    • Make Listing Opt In
    • Claim a Feed
    • Pay content producers a revenue share on site advertising.


  • Bad things Media Sites do with Syndicated Content
    • Auto adding content versus asking to become listed!
    • Replace RSS feed with sites own.
    • Pre-Roll or Post Roll ads in the syndicated sites media player!
    • Not allowing one to claim there own feed.
    • Not allowing one to opt out.
    • Not linking directly to the media file.
    • Not honoring Creative Commons License.
    • Add to Digg etc links that drive people away from original content point.
    • Trans-coding media into a new format without permission.

One thought on “Good and Bad RSS Syndication Practices

  1. Very good points. And more feeds/sites are specifying in their HTML meta tags Creative Commons or other licensing. However, there isn’t currently a standard mechanism for recognizing this in feeds. There is a ‘license’ element, but the contents of it are free-form.

    It would be useful if there was some straight-forward, machine-readable mechanism for specifying simple criteria of a feed, and even of individual items in a feed (for aggregation of multiple feeds into a single feed).

    For example, being able to specify via the license element, attributes for: attribution, commercial, derivatives, norestriction, and even the over-arching, dontaggregate. :)

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