RSS creates opportunities for small to medium businesses
RSS is not being used much by small to medium businesses. This digital technology is a simple and effective product to stay up to date with the latest news, you can also offer your customers some extra service with RSS and get more attention for your company.
RSS is an abbreviation of “Really Simple Syndication” and is an easy way to collect news. With Rss , headlines and intros of your favorite websites will be shown to you on one page in synoptic categories. If something catches your interest you just have to click on the headline or intro and it will take you to that website.
RSS thanks its fame mostly because of webloggers, the bloggers update their sites with news and comments. They practically have a subscription to their favorite websites with RSS, every day all the news is assembled on one clear page, this saves the bloggers a lot of time in searching for new items. Webloggers usually publish news on irregular times therefore visitors have to go to the site every time to see if there is new content. With RSS they don’t have to go to the site every other hour, RSS gives the user a report when there is a new item and gives a small summary about the item.
RSS works really simple : You connect to the RSS-feeds on your favorite site(s), as soon as there is a new article on one of your sites you will get a notice with a link (or “feed”), when you click on this link you will be redirected to that article. In other words : you don’t have to surf the web for the latest news, the news comes to you.
Not all sites have RSS-feeds, RSS is usually used on websites that update their content frequently, like news sites and weblogs. RSS-feeds are commonly recognized by a rectangular, orange button with the writing “XML” in white in it or a blue button with “RSS” written in white. With the us of an RSS-reader you can subscribe to RSS-feeds of your favorite (news) sites and weblogs, this program automatically collects headlines and shows you these in one summary in the reader or your browser, if you want to read one of the headlines just click on it and it will take you directly to the article.
articles, it searches the website you subscribed to for new items. There are different readers for Linux, Macintosh and Windows, some cost money and some are free. It all depends on what you want but most free (to download) readers are sufficient for daily use. The difference with non-free readers are the extra possibilities these readers have. Some readers can just be used for reading feeds, others can be used for more purposes such as making a weblog. Once you have downloaded or purchased a reader you can subscribe to an RSS-feed by clicking the orange or blue button. The internet address of an RSS-feed can easily be copied by copying the URL and pasting it in the RSS-reader.
Source: Kamerkrant - Rotterdam editie - september 2006 - Page 20 focus
Copyright (c) 2006 KVK 07 2006
Gaining profit of RSS
Besides the possibility of keeping up to date with RSS you can also choose to place a newsreader on your own site, this way potential customers can subscribe to your site and receive your new articles without having to go to your site.
The big advantage of offering RSS on your website is the extra coverage you get on your target audience with minimal effort, but that is just one thing.
- RSS is cheap: there are a lot of free readers available for download and the receiving of RSS-feeds is mostly free.
- It takes minimal effort : the RSS-file recognizes the new item on the website and sends this to all the subscribers.
- It is an extra service : customers or visitors will be kept up to date of your news faster and more easily
- The program offers the items in a standard format so other sites can copy the item and place it in their environment.
- A larger part of the audience still has to discover RSS and this gives you a bigger chance of being added to RSS-searchengines or RSS-homepages.
- Saving is also an option with RSS : By offering this sort of content you could possibly drop you (digital) newsletter. This is usually being spread by hand and because of this it is more costly then RSS which is being spread automatically.
- RSS-Feeds gives you opportunity for new advertising incomes, the space in an RSS-feed can be sold to a external advertiser or can be used for your own advertisements. Don’t overdo this and if you do this do it subtly, the user has to have the idea he subscribed to something with news value.
- RSS is the product to communicate one-on-one : subscribers will let you know in what products/subjest they are interested in. Target audience and the offer of information will be very closely linked. This can be attractive for advertisers if you have a lot of subscribers.
But how do you make your own RSS-feed? At Searchenginewatch.com you can read a step-by-step manual how this works. After you have made your feed its is advisable to get some extra attention for your news. You can achieve this by submitting your feed to directories and search engines for news feeds.
A summary of free RSS-Readers
To read RSS-feeds you will need an RSS-reader, there are a lot of different readers, free or non-free. You have readers as a program that you have to install, but you also have websites that function as RSS-reader and some browser are compatible with RSS.
- Bloglines (English, web-based, www.bloglines.com)
- BottomFeeder (English, Linux, Mac, Windows, www.cin-comsmaltalk.com/bottom-feeder)
- FeedReader (English, Windows, www.feedreader.com)
- NetNews Wire Lite (English , Mac OS X, www.versiontracker.com (search for “net-news)
- RSSreader.nl (English, Windows, www.rssreader.nl)