If you spend any time listening to all the newest and latest buzz words on the internet, then you’ve probably heard the term RSS. It started cropping up a lot more regularly a few years ago and made a lot of noise. But, as with many things, interest in RSS has sort of died down. You just don’t hear about it much anymore. As a matter of fact, most people don’t really know what it is.
But, I’m convinced that the proper use of RSS feeds can be a great way to find new business leads! Let me explain.
First of all, let’s explain just what RSS is and the problem that it solves.
Suppose I have interest in several different topics – such as Web Design, E-Commerce, and Social Networking. And, I want to know all the latest news on these topics. How would I go about getting this information? Well, one answer would be to repeatedly visit various web sites that have news and information about these topics – checking if anything new has been posted. But, the problem is that this can get very, very tedious and very time consuming. The second option is to hope that these websites have a NOTIFY ME of updates option – meaning I would get an e-mail whenever something new has been posted. Now this might sound like a good idea, but the problem here is that most of us are regularly bombarded with e-mail. And, the thought of getting new e-mails every time a change has happened on all the web sites is not a good thought.
The solution? Use RSS Feeds. RSS Feed look a lot like your inbox – but they are separate. And, they are a GREAT way to know when you have a new item.
Here a snapshot of my current RSS Feeds:
As you can see, I have 6 current feeds I am monitoring. And, whenever a new item is added, I see that number – the same way I see an unread message. It’s an awesome way to keep on track of things.
For those of you using MS Outlook, here a screen shot of what RSS Feeds look like in Outlook.
For me, I use RSS Feeds to stay on top of many different issues. But, there are two core types of RSS Feeds I find myself using all the time:
1. TWITTER SEARCH
I always have at least one twitter search RSS feed being monitored. For me, I go to search.twitter.com and search for something of interest – such as Web Design – then limit it to within 50 or 100 miles of my locations. Then hit submit. Twitter will deliver a result page for me of everyone who has mentioned “Web Design” in a tweet that is within a 50 or 100 mile radius of me. This is obviously extremely useful. But, what is even more useful is to save this search as an RSS Feed. This way, any time a new tweet appears in my area, mentioning my key term, it will show up in my RSS Feed, just as a new message would show up in my inbox. Within minutes, I’ll know that someone in the area talked about my keyword – and, now I can join in the conversation.
2. GOOGLE ALERTS
Google Alerts are an amazing way to stay on top of terms that are of interest to you. You simply visit google.com/alerts and set up a google alert.
For example, you can set up an alert so that you will be notified every tim eGoogle finds a new page about “web design”. Now instead of being sent an e-mail (which just clutters up my inbox), I choose to save the alert as an RSS Feed – essentially creating a new inbox ONLY for these google alert items.
So, my RSS Feed for “Fort Wayne Web Design” looks something like this:
There’s a LOT of other creative ways to make RSS Feeds work for you. Have questions? Comments? Thoughts? Leave a comment or contact us today!