RSS Basics for Real Estate Agents – PART II

In my last column, I promised a “part two” to further explore the RSS concept and how you can use it to enhance your business. A few readers have asked about the difference between a Blog from an RSS feed, so let’s start there.


Really Simple Syndication (RSS) – PART II

In my last column, I promised a “part two” to further explore the RSS concept and how you can use it to enhance your business. A few readers have asked about the difference between a Blog from an RSS feed, so let’s start there.

A Blog is a website where an individual (or multiple individuals) record their thoughts, share their expertise, or comment on current events, areas of interest or general topics. These are usually updated on a regular basis and often encourage virtual “conversations” by permitting readers to post their own comments and reactions/replies to topics.

RSS (aka Really Simple Syndication) is a way of presenting information contained in a blog or news feed on other websites, directories or locations on the www.

Interactivity between individuals on the web is of increasing interest to those of us marketing our businesses on the web. Knowing how and why people use the Internet helps you to focus your marketing activities and effectively target your ideal audience. According to a Pew survey from earlier this year, nearly half of adult Internet users “have used the Internet to publish their thoughts, respond to others, post pictures, share files and otherwise contribute to the explosion of content available online.”

Blogs are Big

Blogging and picking up RSS feeds is no longer a small activity. As the use of the Internet grows, so does the use of daily updated RSS and “blog” activities. According to Technorati which tracks and rates blogs, a new Weblog is created every 5.8 seconds. Technorati also reports that along with these 15,000 new blogs per day, bloggers update their sites with approximately 275,000 posts daily or 10,800 per hour.

RSS is Soaring

As the content on the web continues to expand, RSS offers a quicker way to select, review and digest that information. Browser windows can provide too much information when an individual is looking for more information on a single topic. RSS cushions the individual with a desire to know more from content overload by providing an easy to scan, easy to digest and quickly accessed format.

Limitation Lightens the Load

One of the biggest “limitations” of most RSS feed readers is that only a certain number of characters of any individual post is available via the news feed. However, this is NOT a disadvantage. This makes it easy for potential readers to “scan” the headlines and excerpts to find the entries most relevant to their search, their needs or their interests. And the limited excerpt presented by RSS links to your full entry on your website. So, if a person wants to read the whole excerpt, they click on the link and are directed to your website. This is how an RSS news feed can boost your website visitors while providing the exact information your visitor was seeking and elevating the value of your site in their opinion. Win-win-win.

If you think that blogging and/or adding an RSS feed to your site may be beneficial, you can learn more by visiting the following resource sites:

  • Want to peruse some topic-organized RSS feeds? Try these http://w.moreover.com/categories/category_list_rss.html.
  • If you want to download and try a free RSS reader on your own computer, consider http://www.feedreader.com.
  • Want to set up a web-based feed server, and customize it for your favorite feeds without downloading anything on your computer? Sign up for http://www.newsisfree.com.
  • Are you a techie at heart? Want to know more about the big picture of RSS? Check out an RSS tutorial with thorough topic coverage in easy-to-understand language http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial.

Now, go explore a bit and enjoy the information now abundantly available in a different format for the New Year!

© Copyright 2005 by Angela Allen Parker of Wicked Wordcraft

This article first appeared
in the “Word Magic” column at www.epowernews.com
in January 2005.

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