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Firefox browser showing future of RSS

October 20, 2004

The Firefox browser’s use of RSS may be indicative of how RSS will be used by Internet users in the very near future. Firefox is an Internet browser (same type of application as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer) that’s available to download for free. Not only does it empower internet users to browse faster, more safely, and more efficiently than with other browsers, including IE, RSS is incorporated into the interface.

When browsing an Internet site or page with RSS, which includes all blogs, an orange RSS button appears on the lower right corner of the browser window. Click on the RSS button and you are prompted to select from RSS1, RSS2 or Atom, all ways of having the sites content fed to you via a news aggregator on your desk top. The url for the feed you choose is displayed in the address tool bar which you then cut and paste into your aggregator.

Firefox is going to accelerate the installation of RSS on other browsers. Firefox is not a lightweight. Forbes describes Firefox as “Better than Internet Explorer by leaps and bounds.” Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal “Suggests dumping Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.”

Apple’s next version of its Safari browser is going to incorporate RSS. With Bill Gates support of blogs and RSS as better for business communication than Web sites or email, expect Microsoft to bring RSS to the masses in the near future.

What does this mean for law firm marketing?

  • Internet users will expect to see RSS buttons in both their browser window and on Internet sites – they will not be able to tell the difference between a blog and a Web site.
  • Internet users will become comfortable clicking on those buttons to subscribe to newsfeeds from people and organizations they trust to provide them relevant practical information.
  • Law firms without an Internet presence including RSS will be missing a golden opportunity to connect with their target audience. They will fall behind the innovative law firms who choose to extend the reach of their content via blogs and the RSS feeds built into blogs.
  • Law firms not using RSS risk being perceived by potential clients as laggards on the use of technology.

RSS is coming faster than you think. Signs like that from Firefox are all around us. The good news for law firms is that RSS may be implemented quickly and at a low cost.

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