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. Â It started cropping up a lot more regularly a few years ago and made a lot of noise. Â But, as with many things, interest in RSS has sort of died down. Â You just don’t hear about it much anymore. Â 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! Â 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. Â And, I want to know all the latest news on these topics. Â How would I go about getting this information? Â Well, one answer would be to repeatedly visit various web sites that have news and Â information about these topics – checking if anything new has been posted. Â But, the problem is that this can get very, very tedious and very time consuming. Â 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. Â Now this might sound like a good idea, but the problem here is that most of us are regularly bombarded with e-mail. Â 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? Â Use RSS Feeds. Â RSS Feed look a lot like your inbox – but they are separate. Â 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. Â And, whenever a new item is added, I see that number – the same way I see an unread message. Â 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. Â But, there are two core types of RSS Feeds I find myself using all the time:
1. Â TWITTER SEARCH
I always have at least one twitter search RSS feed being monitored. Â 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. Â Then hit submit. Â 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. Â This is obviously extremely useful. Â But, what is even more useful is to save this search as an RSS Feed. Â 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. Â Within minutes, I’ll know that someone in the area talked about my keyword – and, now I can join in the conversation.
2. Â GOOGLE ALERTS
Google Alerts are an amazing way to stay on top of terms that are of interest to you. Â 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”. Â 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. Â Have questions? Â Comments? Â Thoughts? Â Leave a comment or contact us today!