RSS More Than Just News Headlines
The core use for RSS is generally
considered news headlines and blog syndication,
but innovative businesses are learning to use
RSS in different ways. Consider RSS as a communication
channel that can provide current, targeted information
as it appears within a very targeted audience.
Google Groups is a free online community and discussion
group service that offers the Web's most comprehensive
archive of Usenet postings. Google Groups can
be monitored using RSS feeds. In order to monitor
a specific newsgroup simply add "/feed/msgs.xml"
to the end of the Google Group URL. Add the new
URL to a newsgroup reader and receive updates
each time a new post is added to the newsgroup.
Example Feed: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.shareware.authors/feed/msgs.xml
Build a calendar for public or private use and
receive calendar updates via an RSS feed. Calendars
can be created for personal reminders to pay bills
or attend social functions. Calendars can also
be used for specific groups like schools, sporting
events, or industry events. The calendar can be
syndicated and shared using RSS feeds.
CalendarHub - http://www.calendarhub.com
Example Feed - http://www.calendarhub.com/rss/21882/month
Enter a zip code and obtain the weather information
in a specific region. Click the orange RSS icon
and add the feed to your reader. Each morning
you will receive local and regional weather reports
as they are made available. RSS feeds can be customized
to include current local conditions, local Doppler
radar, pollen trends, regional video forecasts
with expert commentary, and extended forecast
Weather.com - http://www.weather.com
or RSS Weather - http://www.rssweather.com
Curious about the availability of specific employment
opportunities in a specific industry? Receive
notification when positions are made available.
RSS feeds can be created for regions, salary ranges,
RSSJobs - http://www.rssjobs.com
or Craigslist Example Feed - http://www.craigslist.com/sof/index.rss
Ego searches are free and simple searches
designed to monitor blogs and news portals for
mentions of your company, product, competitors,
or other specific keywords. Conducting ego searches,
not only allows you to stay informed, but also
allows you to maintain a strategic advantage over
competing companies. A number of new Internet
services are freely available that make these
'ego searches' painless and easy.
Many of the services allow you to
create a keyword based feed. Each time new information
containing the keyword appears in the searched
resources, the RSS feed updates.
More on Ego Searches: http://www.small-business-software.net/ego-searches.htm
Receive notification via RSS feeds when packages
are delivered. Custom RSS feeds can be created
to monitor delivery progress. Track the status
of packages shipped via US Postal Service, USP,
DHL or Federal Express.
Simple Tracking - http://www.simpletracking.com/
Initially used by search engines to indicate
new websites with top ranking for specific keywords.
Many webmasters provide RSS feeds to let visitors
know when web content changes occur.
Coupons or Specials
Everyone loves a bargain, RSS feeds that promote
time sensitive discounts or offers are becoming
increasingly popular. Restaurants convey lunch
specials while travel companies convey last minute
deals to prospective travelers using RSS Feeds.
Sample Restaurants Feed - http://www.bestrestaurants.com.au/xml/feed/dining-specials-australia.xml
Sample Travel Feed - http://www.orbitz.com/rss/flightdeals.rss.xml
Items on eBay are time sensitive, few individuals
have time to make daily auction checks of new
auctions for specific products. Create an RSS
feed using keywords to monitor products as they
become available for auction.
Bidding Tools - http://www.freebiddingtools.com
Example Feeds - http://www.freebiddingtools.com/rss/feeds/47459
RSS is still very young. Both publishers
and consumers are actively seeking ways to exploit
this communication medium. Additional uses of
RSS feeds are popping up daily. Consider how your
business might use this new communication medium
to increase sales, increase productivity, and
reach new customers.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.