Tuesday, June 3, 2008

RSS Feeds

I have gone 3 days now without making a sale, I just expect too much. It gets so disappointing to check my stats and see the big $0.00, but you have to keep moving forward.
I have made some progress with my blog, I finally added the RSS Feed and you can now receive my feed or join my email list. I have been needing to do this for sometime nowand got a little push the other night. I am using FeedBurner, it seems to be a pretty common feed service.

If you are new to this like me here are the basics:

You probably have seen this three-letter acronym in the course of your internet surfing. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary; syndicating means republishing an article that comes from another source such as a website.

An RSS is a means of publicizing updates about websites. It may or may not include a summary and photos of the latest posting. But those that provide summaries (thus Rich Site Summary) allow users to skim through the article so that they could decide later on if they want to access the website source. The RSS feed usually contains the title of the update originating from the website. It is also usually the link to the website source.

What are the benefits of RSS?

RSS gives benefits to both readers (users) and web publishers.

1. It gives you the latest updates.
Whether it is about the weather, new music, software upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updates site learn about the latest as soon as it comes out.

2. It saves on surfing time.
Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the user’s time by helping s/he decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net.

3. It gives the power of subscription to the user.
Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently.

4. It lessens the clutter in your inbox.
Although your email address will be required to enjoy the services of online RSS aggregators, RSS does not use your email address to send the updates.

5. It is spam free.
Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails.

6. Unsubscribing is hassle-free.
Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked questions on why s/he is unsubscribing and then the user would be asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you have to do is to delete the RSS feed from your aggregator.

7. It can be used as an advertising or marketing tool.
Users who subscribe or syndicate product websites receive the latest news on products and services without the website sending spam mail. This is advantageous to both the web user and the website owner since advertising becomes targeted; those who are actually interested in their products are kept posted.

What are the drawbacks of RSS?

The disadvantages of RSS use are brought about by its being a new technology and some user-preference concerns.

1. Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds.
For conciseness and ease of publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for some web-based aggregators

2. The identity of the source website can be confusing.
Since RSS feeds do not display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what feed a user is actually reading.

3. Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they would not know the reasons why users unsubscribe which could be important in improving their advertising.

4. RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server.
Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.

RSS and Internet Marketing

The original idea of RSS came from Netscape, where their intention is to provide a means for users to customize their personal homepage to contain links to websites that interest them, similar to bookmarking websites.

The application of RSS to internet marketing was an unforeseen development to RSS technology developers. Since users are given the freedom to add RSS feeds to their aggregators, those who are interested in particular products and services available in the internet can now be notified real time. Marketing becomes more specific to interested people and not a hit-and-miss operation.

Those who intend to use RSS for marketing their products and services should consider linking up with email account providers, (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google mail); networking websites (e.g. Friendster, Multiply, My Space, Hi5); websites of newspapers and television network websites (e.g. New York Times, CNN) for medium to big-scale companies. Small-time industries can also look into networking websites as well as personal blog websites (e.g. Blogspot) and websites of clubs and organizations that would probably make use of their products or services e.g. a fishing supplies store can look for the website of their local fishing club for possible RSS marketing.



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