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Feed Your Artwork to Your Fans with RSS

by Clint Watson on 10/25/2007 3:19:27 PM

Today's post will show you exactly WHY you need to be offering RSS feeds to your web site visitors.

I'm an Art Collector
Let me start by saying that I'm an art collector.  Like all art collectors, there are several artists that I am "watching" at any given point in time.

Having set the stage, what do you think the following artworks all have in common?

California Sunset by Don Sahli

Morning Light on Longs Peak by Keith Bond

Arizona Mesa by Logan Hagege

Dreams of Gold by Richard Johnson

Da Qiao Village Markets by Scott Tallman Powers

I was one of the first to know about all of these artworks

If you answered that they're all by artists who interest me you would be right . . . sort of.  But that's not the real answer.

The real answer is all four of these paintings were posted on the web within the last couple of days.  So how do I already know about them?  Do I check all these artists' websites every day?

I don't check these websites every day, in fact, it will probably surprise you to find out that I NEVER check these artists web sites.  

I don't have to check their sites and yet I am still among the very first to know about these new pieces of art....all thanks to the magic of RSS.

The Magic of RSS

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication."  An RSS Subscription channel is usually called an RSS "Feed" and, these days, usually simplified to simply a "feed."  You usually see in icon like the one below (although not as big) when there is an RSS feed on a web page:

Don Sahli, Keith Bond, Logan Hagege, Richard Johnson, Scott Tallman Powers and many others are all artists that I love.  As such, I want to know about new artworks as soon as they are available, so I subscribed to each one of those artist's RSS feeds with my feed reader.  

A feed reader is sort of like an email program, except that it is designed to show you new posts in RSS feeds.  I use Google Reader (which is free and doesn't require a download) and I check it every night.  I usually read it on my Windows Mobile device (yes, yes Apple fans, I know . . . it will also work on an iPhone), so that I can just lay on the sofa and read it like a book, but for illustration I have reproduced a screen shot of the regular desktop version of Google Reader below, showing the post of one of Don Sahli's artworks.

Above: A screen shot of Google Reader showing Don Sahli's new artwork


If you've read this far into this post, it should be obvious to you the power of RSS.  If you can get site visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed, you can literally "feed" your artwork to them.  

Now is the time to embrace RSS

NOW is the time to add RSS to your web site.  It is just now starting to be widely adopted by the geekless (us geeks have been using it for AGES).  That means, in the near future, more and more art collectors will be EXPECTING you to offer an RSS feed.

Feeds are great because since the subscriber is pulling the information from your site when he or she wants it, there is no "address" to the subscriber, as there is with email.  THus the subscriber always remains anonymous and his privacy is protected.  In practical use this means RSS FEEDS ARE IMMUNE TO SPAMMERS.  There simply is no way to spam someone elses RSS subscribers.  Of course, the slight downside to this privacy means that you won't know who has subscribed to your RSS feeds . . . until they buy, that is!

Lastly, RSS Feeds and Email are very different mediums.  RSS Feeds are like TV and email is like direct need both, but they work in different ways.


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS - If this RSS stuff seems complicated or your web designer isn't sure how to add a feed to your web site, consider looking at our sister service, FineArtStudioOnline.  All FineArtStudioOnline sites have RSS feeds automatically included.....that's why Don Sahli, Keith Bond, Logan Hagege, Richard Johnson and Scott Tallman Powers have feeds . . . ironically some of THEM probably don't even KNOW they have an RSS feed. And that's how it should be, our job is to make the technology easy so that the artists we work with can be where they should be . . . in their studios!

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Topics: Art Business | art marketing | Best | Marketing | Web Site Tips 

What Would You Like to Do Next?
Post your comment Join Email List Follow via RSS Share Share


Teresa Epps
via web
Some of the best advice I've seen. I took the free 60 day opportunity and joined Fine At Studio On Line and will be spending the next couple of days creating my gallery there. It's one thing to just give free advice but to actually provide valuable leeds and usable site information is rare. So far so good Mr. Watson; I'm taking action on your advice. Thank you, Teresa

Keith Bond
via web
Clint, could you expound on this topic. I am a non-geek, and yes, I did not even know that RSS was part of my web site. How do I get people to subscribe? Do I provide a link for them, or do they have to subscibe to it through their reader? I don't even know enough about it to ask the proper questions.

Keith Bond

Ruth Olivar Millan
via web
Thank you so much for all the information. I am a "Hungry Artist" and so I depend on every painting for my livelihood. I keep painting because I have to do it.....but someday maybe someone will find interest in my work.
Your information is always so up lifting thank you for the support. Ruth

Jean G Dayton
via web
Hi Clint
Found your blog about RSS from Alison from Art Biz - I really am going to have to do this on my site - not sure how yet though!!
Many many thanks for the info on RSS feeds, easily explained to the novice - now I understand what its all about.


Anne Bevan
via web
Hello Clint,
Thank you so much for your wonderful blogs, articles, links etc. I have just spent a couple of very pleasurable hours curiously clicking away. This information about RSS is particularly helpful (it might might as well have been "Russian Secret Service" for all I knew! :-)

I have just gotten a new imac and high speed internet with the fervent intent to get my website back online and begin to participate in some of the opportunities to exhibit online. Today I put "read everything Clint Watson has written" on the top of my todo list.

If you happen to be curious, one light bit of writing and a few images can be found on (click on "gallery")

best wishes,

(ps. thanks, too for the link . I happen to love his work for it's innovative quality at that time. I don't think immitators should be taken seriously, but it is fun to play with this little techno-toy. )

Betty Pieper
Will wonders ever cease! Although I've been painting for years and years - and even selling - I've only lately started to learn about the "new" ways of getting one's work 'out there'.
This is so helpful...

Cathy Cooksey
I am new to selling my art online and I'm not sure I understand how this works. I am very interested in learning more about it. Is there a place I can go to get more info. And yes I am a non-geek, so please be gentle. Cathy @


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