Lets face it as much as we all rely on email communications
it is not really a reliable technology.
Why Should I care about RSS Feeds
SPAM and viruses have wreaked havoc with a communication
medium and reduced its value. Users have become
admittedly paranoid about privacy issues and have
begun "tuning out" and mentally filtering mail.
What this means is that vendors really ought
to begin exploring alternatives means of communciation
in order to be heard. One of these alternatives
is RSS or Really Simple Syndication. While I'm
not suggesting that you abandon email I think
that many might want to consider RSS feeds as
well. Because RSS Feeds are selected by the end
user spam is not an issue. RSS is created using
XML, a very basic markup language. One that does
not contain the risks inherent to email. Endusers
select the feeds they wish to view. Content providers
select the feeds they wish to display.
By providing a RSS feed another site may pick
up "news" about your software and post it. If
email continues on a self destruct course RSS
will become a new standard and an accepted viable
alternative or more likely an email supplement.
For now if you have a "technical" customer base
RSS might be a "cool" thing to add.
What are RSS Feeds - In very simple
non-technical terms RSS is an XML file containing
a directory of web pages with related news or
information. The RSS is contained in an XML file
and referred to as a "feed". RSS format is very
simple, in fact even I was able to create a feed
with little effort. The XML file basically contains
what would be commonly used as a title and description
in an html document, along with the url of a web
page containing the actual content.
Sample feeds can be seen at: http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/feed.xml
Once uploaded to a website the feed should be
validated (to make sure you did not use any invalid
characters). The feed can then be submitted to
engines. Individuals can view your content in
a reader. Individuals can also add news feed to
their websites by using an aggregator and tapping
the feed of news vendors or others.
For convenience I've created a webpage with
RSS resources at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/rss-feeds.html
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage,
and FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com