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RSS - Really Simple Stuff

Posted on 12-9-2012 by Luke Hardy

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What is RSS?

First released in 1999, RSS (Rich Site Summary, or often Really Simple Syndication) is a standardised format used for the syndication of oft-updated content. Blog posts are a prime example, though it could potentially be used for any updates to a website. In a nutshell, it's a method of automatically syndicating your content to a subscriber base. You may have noticed the RSS icon without ever really paying attention to it; that's what this icon refers to.

How does it work?

Each item that is updated has its own feed (or channel). This feed is just an address that your users add to an RSS reader, software specifically designed to work with RSS feeds. Each time you publish new content, the feed is automatically updated and your subscribers will receive a notification. Most subscribers use their web browser or Microsoft Outlook as their RSS reader, though there are also a lot of specialist programs out there just for RSS feeds.

This sounds great!

It is, up to a point. Some of the more common issues are:
  • It is not natively supported in Google Chrome. Clicking on a feed link in Chrome will dump a pile of code straight into your browser window; if you don't know better, you could be forgiven for thinking that the feed is broken.
  • Traditionally, checking the feed is up to the user. How often the feed is checked for updates depends entirely on their reader settings, and if the user doesn't open their reader program they won't receive updates at all.
  • And the big one; A lot of users simply don't want to bother with it. They just want the information delivered to them without the hassle of setting up feeds and monitoring them for updates.

Is there a solution?

There are a couple of ways to get the most out of your RSS and to offer the functionality of automatic updates without the limitations. The one that most appeals to a lot of users, and the one we recommend, is using email delivery. Any updates are automatically delivered to your subscribers as an email; all they have to do is enter their email address when they sign up. Google's Feedburner service offers email delivery combined with subscription reports and branding options, and is the latest addition to our support offering for existing clients. 

If you feel you aren't getting enough the highest readership out of your blog, consider an alternative. And don't forget; we can help you with setting up Feedburner's email delivery service as an addendum, or a replacement, to your existing RSS channels. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more.

Video and Podcasts - Engage & Educate

Posted on 14-2-2011 by Leanne O'Sullivan

Monday, February 14, 2011

Have you thought about introducing Video into your website?

We recently launched the KLR Marketing revamped site and that site extensively uses both Video and Audio files to engage with their audience - both public and the mastermind members. 

Western Plains Automotive and iKiFit are other sites that also extensively use video at their sites.

They are terrific tools to engage and more importantly educate your customers and potential customers about your business.

Adobe Business Catalyst recently introduced streaming tools for audio and video files.

The "Streaming" literature type can be used for audio and video files that you'd like to stream on your website using a Flash/HTML based player, or syndicate via RSS to media players such as iTunes (eg. podcasting)

This literature type supports 5 file formats, including:

  • MP3
  • MP4
  • M4A
  • MOV
  • M4V

This Literature type is readable by iTunes, a range of desktop media players and most streaming Flash-based players. 

Our tools give you the benefit of easily tracking file usage over time. In the case of podcasting, this makes tracking listens or downloads simple.

We have some great industry contacts that we work closely with to deliver cost effective and quality video outcomes. Our friends at Thrive Media spring immediately to mind!

Talk to us about integrating sound and video into your site - it is a great way to generate interest in your products and services and it is an excellent ice breaker for your business!

What is RSS

Posted on 08-9-2010 by Leanne O'Sullivan

Wednesday, September 08, 2010
You may wonder what the  image means on this blog page? You most likely see this image on many websites - particularly those that contain a considerable amount of information that changes regularly. This images refers to RSS.

What is RSS?

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. Some of our clients such as Dubbo City Council and the Institute of Internal Auditors use this feature regularly.

Why RSS? Benefits and Reasons for using RSS

RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually.

Just copy and paste the feed url into podcast software or feed-reader.

Alternatively, you can also copy the URL into your email client RSS feed area so that you receive updates directly into your in box.

How to Set up RSS in your inbox

Follow these steps to receive information from your favourite site RSS feeds directly into your inbox.

1. Click on an rss feed link and copy the URL
2. Right click the RSS feeds folder inside OUTLOOK and choose Add a New RSS Feed. (This folder can usually be found below your OUTBOX folder and BEFORE the SEND box folder.)
3. Paste your previously copied link into this window and click on ADD.

You will now receive email notification of all the latest feed information directly into your inbox.

This is a great method to allow that information to be shared to the wider world without needing to send out emails or faxes to communicate the message. You may find that some of your potential audience prefers to keep up to date via this method - they are a little at arms length, but still informed.

This could be a great way to turn them into active customers!

Try the steps above with our RSS Feed!

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