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RSS Feed: Brown Bag Lunch Series Learn how to implement RSS feeds into your day-to-day business. All links can be found at: http://del.icio.us/westervillelibrary/RSS
What is RSS? <ul><li>RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. </li></ul><ul><li>But what does that mean, you ask? </li></ul><ul><li>The easiest way to explain it is to think of RSS as the ability to create your own personal newspaper. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, each feed you subscribe to shows you the headlines for your favorite columnists. </li></ul>
Your Personalized Newspaper Would Look Something Like This:
Why Is This Useful? <ul><li>Instead of scouring the Internet for new and useful information every day, the important new information comes to you. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to remember your favorite sites, blogs, or product searches. Once you set up your feed, this information automatically updates in your reader. </li></ul><ul><li>RSS helps you organize the information you find most useful. </li></ul>
Wondering Where to Start? <ul><li>Find a RSS reader . </li></ul><ul><li>Decide what content you’re interested in. </li></ul><ul><li>Browse the web. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for this symbol: </li></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to the feed. </li></ul>
How to View Your Personal Newspaper : <ul><li>In order to view , add to and delete from your personal newspaper, you need a RSS “ reader ” or “ aggregator .” </li></ul><ul><li>As with most products, different companies offer different features with their readers, so you will want to pick the one that best fits your needs . </li></ul><ul><li>Some examples are… </li></ul>
Online Accounts <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>Great for those on the move; these readers are accessible anywhere with Internet access and an Internet browser. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re familiar with MySpace, Yahoo! Mail or other similar services, these readers will be fairly intuitive. </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>You can’t “save” or “mark” your favorite posts. </li></ul><ul><li>You have to log in, which means remembering yet another username and password. </li></ul>
Internet Browsers Pro: For those of you who love bookmarks and browser add-ons, this way of viewing RSS feeds is for you. Cons: These are only viewable on the browser where you have set them up, so they are not “mobile” unless they were set up on a laptop or mobile device. These are less visual.
Internet Explorer (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/default.mspx)
Email Options Pro: If you love the way email works, you will appreciate these options. These readers allow you to “delete” feeds once you have viewed them, whereas most other readers simply mark them as read and leave them as viewable until new content arrives. Con: These readers are less visual.
Not Ready to Commit? Luckily, most RSS feeds can be read like any webpage. Internet browsers have the capability of viewing all of the feed content without actually using an RSS reader. In this way, you don’t have to alienate those customers or employees who aren’t quite ready to make the jump. Also, feeds that can be read within the browser will cater to one-time customers, without any more work on your part.
Using Feeds as a Consumer In any business, there are two ways to use RSS feeds. The first way is as a CONSUMER or SUBSCRIBER of information on the Internet. If you want to view content created by other people or businesses, either for yourself or on behalf of a client, you are a consumer . As a consumer, you need to collect information from many sources daily, digest the information, correlate it, and put the knowledge you've gained into action as quickly as possible. You can do this by finding feeds that related to your job, subscribing to them , and then organizing them in a way that is meaningful to you.
Scenarios Professional Development – Sign up for feeds from your favorite professional journals and blogs. Customer Reviews – Keep up with what your customers are saying about you on sites such as InsiderPages.com. As a Service – For example, as a headhunter or consultant you can create RSS reader accounts for your clients with job feeds and career development feeds based on their needs. Company News – As an employee, you can subscribe to your company’s feeds to keep up on the day-to-day changes.
Examples Headhunters: Set up job posting feeds based on your clients specifications. http://jobsearch.monster.com/rss.aspx Auto Mechanics: Subscribe to recall and repair updates for the most popular makes and models. http://auto-recalls.justia.com/ Doctors or Nurses: Keep up with medical developments by subscribing to feeds for medical journals through databases like EBSCOhost. http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?topicID=317&marketID=6 Restaurant Owners: Keep up with reviews that your customers post about you. www.yelp.com
Examples (cont’d) Grocery Store Owners: Keep up with the Food and Drug Administration’s recalls. http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/rssRecalls.xml Immigration Lawyers: Learn about U.S. Customs and Border Protection news from the Department of Homeland Security. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/highlights/featured_rss.xml Travel Agents: Keep track of flight prices and travel news. http://www.expedia.com/daily/outposts/rss/expedia_rss.asp?ccheck=1& http://asp.usatoday.com/marketing/rss/rsstrans.aspx?feedId=travel1&loc=interstitialskip
Examples (cont’d) Gas Station Owners: Subscribe to the Federal Trade Commissions latest industry news. http://www.ftc.gov/rss/text/gascolumn.xml Stock Traders: Keep up with the market. http://finance.yahoo.com/rssindex or http://www.smartmoney.com/rss/?hpadref=1 Politicians: Track the progress of bills in the House and Senate. http://www.opencongress.org/ Personal Shoppers: Subscribe to product feeds. You can track something as specific as new craft books or cashmere sweaters. http://www.amazon.com/gp/tagging/rss-help.html
Benefits Helps organize the massive amount of information that can be found on the Internet. Eliminates email overload, allowing for the most important information to come through. After the initial find, you no longer have to seek out new information from your favorite sites. Allows you to easily track your competition and keep ahead of new developments.
Using Feeds as a Producer The second way to use RSS feeds is as a PROVIDER or PRODUCER of information on the Internet. If you want to provide your customers with up-to-date content about your products and services using the Internet, you are a producer . As a producer of information, you need to develop content that helps you or your business connect with colleagues, clients, customers, prospective customers, the media, and executives on a daily basis. You can do this by developing feeds that advertise your services, products, events, or company news.
Scenarios Advertising – Use feeds to advertise your newest products, services, or events Reaching Out – Feeds allow you to reach clients, customers, or patients who you would not normally interact with. Consumer Education – As a retailer or service-provider, you can produce feeds that help you educate your consumers on various areas of your business or products. Company News – Help keep investors, employers, or employees up-to-date on projects and company developments. Service Alerts – For businesses that rely on repeat customers, such as dentists, hair stylists, and massage therapists, you can use RSS feeds to alert your customers that it’s time for them to stop in.
Examples Human Resources Keep employees up-to-date on benefits, new policies, new hires, conference opportunities, etc. Auto Dealerships Offer feeds about the latest merchandise on the lot. Ex. http://www.cherryhilltriplex.com/display_inventory.cfm House Cleaning Services Send out about changes in schedules, changes in rates, or new services.
Examples (cont’d) Medical Professionals Offer feeds about the new treatments, medication alerts, or preventative care tips. Restaurants & Bars Offer feeds with recipe ideas, menu specials, eCoupons, or special events. Online Retailers Create feeds of products you sell online. Even if you’re a freelancer, you can create feeds from iStockPhoto, eBay, or Etsy. Ex. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=2427
Benefits RSS feeds are great for activities that involve loyal customers checking for updates in fares, prices, availability and new items. RSS is a way to bring people to your Web site. Feeds allow customers control over the content they receive from you, making their interaction with your company a more customized experience. RSS is a way of providing constant communication with your customers, without all of the work.
What Should Not Become an RSS Feed? Any content that is not updated on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. Any content that is urgent . If you need to get in touch with your customers, patrons, patients, or clients immediately, email or phone is still the way to go. Any content that remains static , or that should always be visible to your customers. Remember, just like newspapers, RSS feeds are a “throw-away” media. You don’t want necessary content moved to the bottom of the “stack.”
Resources for Further Study For the Basics: RSS in Plain English (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU RSS Specifications (website) http://www.rss-specifications.com/ RSS Demystified (slide presentation) http://www.slideshare.net/pbromberg/rss-demystified Feedburner Track your feed stats and learn the basics about feed building. http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home
Resources (cont’d) More Feeds: U.S. Government RSS Library http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RSS_Library.shtml Directory of RSS Feeds related to Business & Careers http://www.allbusiness.com/2984677-1.html Syndicat8 - RSS Feed Directory www.syndic8.com Westerville Public Library’s RSS Feeds http://catalog.westervillelibrary.org/screens/feeds.html
Resources (cont’d) Articles and Books: RSS Marketing Feed Frenzy by Melissa Campanelli http://www.entrepreneur.com/ebusiness/gettingtraffic/article174666.html Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds for Dummies by Ellen Finkelstein A good place to start learning about RSS feeds, how they work, and ideas on how to use them. Secrets of RSS by Steven Holzner A technical view of how to set up your own RSS feeds and XML documents.
Thank you! Presented by: Tamara Westerville Public Library April 2 nd , 2008