J.D. Lasica, a veteran journalist who writes frequently about the impact of emerging technologies on our culture for the likes of Washington Post, Salon, The Industry Standard and other publications, posted a great summary of what RSS is good for and why RSS is useful for corporations.
Though one or two points may not pertain to law firms, J.D.’s post is a must read for lawyers and law firm marketing professionals looking to keep up with the latest in marketing communications. Especially note the 5 reasons why RSS is useful for your published content. Take it away J.D. —
During the BlogOn bootcamp, I talked about RSS feeds and site syndication. Thought I’d post this here and see if anyone had any additional ideas.
7 Things RSS Is Good For
- Saving time. Just as TiVo lets you watch TV more efficiently, RSS feeds do the same for the Web. It lets you speed-read the Net.
- Convenience: By collecting headlines from dozens of sources on a single screen, RSS (rich site summary) — a combination of push and pull technology — enables users to see at a glance when a site or blog has been updated without having to keep revisiting the site. RSS cuts to the chase: no pop-up ads (at this point, anyway), and you can set your news reader to allow or disallow photos and graphics.
- Access to a richer pool of material. By building an ad hoc online network of friends, experts and news sources, you cast your net over a wider range of material, expanding the range of news topics tracked.
- Zero in on the info you want. RSS parses news and information on the subjects you want. The result is a targeted or personalized news experience, giving you greater ability to tailor your consumption of niche and micro-niche topics. A sports junkie could subscribe to a feed for the Tour de France or a favorite baseball team. A job-hunter could subscribe to a feed for openings in digital media. A medical editor or relative of someone with MS could receive RSS updates published to a health database.
- RSS can serve as an alert service. Instead of using e-mail, you might want to customize your news reader to deliver news on an important subject every 15 minutes.
- RSS levels the playing field. By flattening out authority, RSS puts micro-publishers and friends on the same footing as major news sites in your news reader.
- RSS drives conversation. Feeds are a chief mechanism driving timely interactions and can be conducive to an ongoing dialogue.
Henry Copeland of BlogAds suggested at a BlogOn session that RSS wasn’t really part of social media, that RSS is just a delivery vehicle, nothing more. I disagree. Just as newspapers are more than a medium — they have historically been a central hub of community life — so too RSS promises to offer more than XML scripts.
Why is RSS useful to publishers and corporations?
5 Reasons Why Companies Should Publish an RSS feed:
- Multiple gateways. It’s another doorway or distribution channel for getting your content in front of readers.
- Self-syndication. It allows publishers to syndicate content without the involvement of third parties.
- The predictability principle. By far the most important reason is this: Just as with newspaper subscriptions, RSS subscriptions mean your content is guaranteed to be seen on a regular basis rather than via sporadic pull behavior. On a typical news site, a reader stops by an average of three times per month.
- Loyalty. RSS can forge a closer relationship with readers if done in conjunction with a weblog or community feedback tools.
- Future revenue streams. RSS could be a great way of distributing classified advertising and other targeted marketing opportunities as long as the user requests it and finds it useful.
— Thanks J.D. for contributing to the cause of bringing helpful legal information to the masses from the most trusted and reliable authorities – this nation’s lawyers (via law blogs of course).
J.D has allowed me to share his post via the Creative Commons License