Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do You RSS?

By Joshua Hays


I have recently become acquainted with RSS, or Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (depending on who you hear it from) and am amazed at how it has been forced on internet users in the most recent years through browser updates and site adaptations. If you have a blog or any other source of information that you want people or customers to regularly be a part of, it's practically 'required' that you offer the RSS option.

So what the heck is RSS? Does anyone even really know? There isn't a clear explanation listed anywhere on the sites that want you to subscribe to so how are new or lite internet users supposed to know what it is?

WhatIsRSS.com says that "RSS is a format for delivering regularly changing web content." In short, if you want to know if a favorite site, news or blog has posted an update, the RSS indicator embedded into almost every browser will highlight. It is an easy way to subscribe to information without having to give away personal information. Make sense?

Probably not. RSS has never really be explained, is it even popular among the people we really want to use it? Marketers and business owners are getting a hang of it but the demographic we are attempting to force it upon doesn't yet have an understanding. It's such a useful tool and very easy to use and explain - it doesn't make sense not have a brief explanation somewhere near the RSS subscribe button on your blog or forum that would help to encourage users to make the 'easy' transition into RSS.

I guess this unnoticeable transition is much easier to stomach than something like what we are doing for the digital television transition, huh?

Joshua Hays is an aggressive marketing consultant with a strong background in design and nearly ten years of broad experience involving both B2B and B2C marketing techniques including print and online campaigns. He has advanced knowledge of both the Microsoft and Adobe software suites and is cross-platform, multi-operating system (MAC & PC) trained. Joshua specializes in product and campaign development. Joshua Hays can be reached at http://www.joshuahays.com.

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