My top 3 reasons you should thank RSS for almost everything on the internet. Including 3 bonus very cool things you didn’t know RSS could do.
So, I came across a post in my Feed.ly about RSS that combined a couple of my favorite things Facebook and Blogging (and as a subset, RSS).
It came from a site and author that I really enjoy:
Here’s the tweet that started the conversation.
— Jonathan Abrams (@abrams) July 24, 2014
If you’ve been here for any time at all you’ll know I cherish RSS. Let’s dive right into my top 3 reasons I LOVE RSS
Reason #1: ME
It’s all about me. Real Simple Syndication brings the new content from hundreds of my favorite websites – automatically. I don’t need to go to their site to ‘see’ if they wrote something.
With the magic of RSS all those sites posts come to my Feed.ly reader as they are posted. This makes it possible for me to read a bunch of new news in a short period of time. It’s all about saving me time and energy.
Here’s a few posts proclaiming my love for all things RSS
Reason # 2: YOU
I use the RSS feed coming out of my website to automatically create a newsletter. In this way you don’t have to worry about coming to check AreWeConnected to see if I wrote anything new.
If I wrote something new it’ll be in your email inbox first thing this morning. I’ve mentioned before how I want to make the newsletter lean and easy on you. I do this with
- very little branding,
- the Title of the post,
- an image from the post,
- and a snippet on what that post contains
If the teaser email grabs you – click on anything and you’ll be transported directly to the full version of the post.
If it doesn’t, delete, mark as read, or move on. Maybe the next post might have something of value for you.
Either way, since you don’t use a Feed Reader I’m saving you time and energy. You can thank me anytime! 😉
Reason #3 THEM
The ‘Them‘ would be my clients. When I build a newsletter system for my clients I may use their outgoing RSS to create the newsletter. But what if they are not creating new content? No new content means no new RSS, means no new newsletter. <insert sad face>
All is not lost. You can also use RSS to pull in most any other stream (from other sites) and publish it on your site.
ISN’T THAT STEALING?
Great question. If you were to grab the entire post and then post it as if you wrote it yourself – yes. Technically that’s called ‘scraping’ and it’s been a big no no for a long time.
However if you grab just the title and maybe a snippet with a link back to the site, that’s called ‘aggregation’ and that’s perfectly ok. There are entire websites that are nothing but giant RSS aggregators. Have you heard of Guy Kawasaki’s AllTop? It’s an amazing site!
The thing is, you could do the same thing with other people’s RSS on your site. There’s currently 41WordPress plugins that will allow you to do just that in the depository! This would deliver new content on your site on a regular basis. That would be a good thing – right?
3 other cool things you can do with RSS
1. I’m working with a client right now that has a few WordPress sites going. That means they also have a few individual RSS feeds for each. I’m combining the multiple feeds into one single feed and setting up a single newsletter. Multiple feeds merged into one.
2. Going the other way, I have a site that has multiple authors. I can split the common single feed into separate RSS feeds for each author, or each category, or each tag. That means I could create an individual newsletter for each Author.
3. If you look at my feed you’ll see it’s truncated and has a small warning (for the scrapers).
While I love seeing a full RSS feed in my feed reader (where I can read the whole post) I also realize that most people don’t use a feed reader. Low tech is ok. Most people come to my posts via a Google Search, a Share in Facebook, or from their email via my newsletter. None of which require a full RSS output.
While having just 4 readers might have made me sad in the past I have to think about who my audience is. The typical AWC reader is not a technobrainiacwizard (and that’s ok).
I could go on and on waxing poetic about the wonders of RSS but I think you get the gist.
So, how many people in Facebook know what RSS is?
The answer is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to know what it is. The important part is how many people use it (without even knowing they are).
Sign up for my newsletter and you are using RSS! 😉
NEED HELP SETTING UP A NEWSLETTER? I am for hire – let’s do it right!
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.