By Kevin O'Keefe

7 things RSS is good for and why RSS is useful to lawyers and law firms

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:

  1. Multiple gateways. It’s another doorway or distribution channel for getting your content in front of readers.
  2. Self-syndication. It allows publishers to syndicate content without the involvement of third parties.
  3. 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.
  4. Loyalty. RSS can forge a closer relationship with readers if done in conjunction with a weblog or community feedback tools.
  5. 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

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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