RSS: Here’s something to chew on..

February 2006

Remember Chiclets? You know… the candy-coated square chewing gum? Well there’s a new chiclet in town – the rectangular orange RSS chiclet. You’ve probably seen them. They’re popping up all over websites these days.

It looks like this…

This month’s Integrated Marcom Minute explains what it is and how marketers are using it.

RSS: Here’s something to chew on…
More than 25% of U.S. internet users subscribe to content via RSS.

What’s RSS? RSS stands for rich site summary or the more popular phrase really simple syndication. An RSS feed is a set of instructions written in XML code. The code tells readers what to do with your feed.

But here’s the important part… visitors can subscribe to your RSS feed. That means any content on your website can be syndicated so that a visitor can get regular updates without having to search your website to get them.

It’s similar to subscribing to an email newsletter, with one VERY BIG exception… RSS is 100% opt-in! You don’t have to send anything.

What’s a newsreader and where do I get one?

A newsreader, a.k.a. aggregator, is nothing more than a small application that sits on your desktop or operates through your browser. It manages all of your subscriptions. Newsreaders are usually free, but some charge a small fee. I’ve included a few links below.

FYI… soon newsreaders will be built into Internet Explorer and Windows OS among other browsers, operating systems and email clients.

Here’s an example of RSS in action…
Let’s say your company is going through a merger and you want to keep journalists apprised of up-to-the-minute news. Instead of pushing press releases to their already burgeoning inboxes, you could set up an RSS feed for news pertaining to your merger. Journalists could then subscribe to your feed and anytime news is updated, their reader would automatically deliver it to them.

Cisco Systems, among other companies, is providing RSS feeds for company news. Visit Cisco Systems’ newsroom.

Also, news distribution services such as PRNewswire, offer RSS as a service to their clients.

You can use RSS for other purposes too. Try it on tech support content or new product announcements.

Oh, I almost forgot… it’s searchable too! So RSS could potentially drive more traffic to your website.

Now that’s integrated marcom!

More next time…
Joan Damico

J. Damico Marketing Communications
(845) 778-5095

PS Thinking about integrating RSS into your website? Share your experience and I’ll feature it in an upcoming Integrated Marcom Minute.

PPS Need good web content to feed? Contact me today!