RSS Feeds: Sorta Simple Syndication

This is an excerpt from the upcoming book by Michael Daehn called Marketing 2.0:

Sorta Simple Syndication

RSS stands for really simple syndication and it is the next leap in Internet communications. It is simple if you have some web skills otherwise it can seem a bit complicated. If you use a start page like My Yahoo! AOL or MSN you are using RSS already. These sites allow you to customize the content you view like sports, weather and news headlines. These pages are getting updated content from various feeds and putting them on your start page for you.

Today you have the ability to create your own RSS feed with content from your site. You can allow people to subscribe to your feed that will appear on their start page or RSS aggregator (more on aggregators in a moment). Now you don’t have to be Reuters to send out your news feed to the world. Anybody can make their content available as a feed.

For my Marketing that Rocks blog I created an RSS feed using Feedburner’s free service. They gave me the web code to put a subscription box on the blog. When people click on the link it takes them to a page that allows them to subscribe using whatever RSS service or start page they are using. Every time I create a new post on the blog it is distributed through the feed and appears on the subscriber’s page.

Are you confused? I know there is some new terminology here, but it is very important that you understand the implications of this tool. This revolutionizes the way people are currently using the Internet. In the past if you wanted to see if my blog or website had updated content you had to go to my site- maybe there was something new, maybe not. Perhaps there was something of interest, and maybe all my latest posts were lame. With an RSS feed you can see my headlines without going to my site. In fact you can peruse the headlines of your favorite 10 blogs in the time it would take you to visit one and look for new content.

I know that not everyone is familiar with or feels comfortable with RSS so I also have a box to subscribe to my blog via email. This free email service, available through Feedblitz, sends an email copy of my new posts right to the inbox of subscribers. The question is with the increase of spam and the relative ease of using RSS how long is email going to be an effective way of sending your communications?