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Have you been following the explosion of RSS -- Really Simple Syndication -- activity online? Seems this new method of "getting the word out" is picking up steam. Why? Partly because of the Davids, and partly because of the Goliaths. The "Davids" -- the little guys -- are able to deploy the technology since it is easy to use and usually is a feature of Blogging software (Blogging is another emerging trend -- for more articles on Blogging, visit WebFadds.com). You just click the option and send your RSS feed (broadcast your articles) out to subscribing sites. And the "Goliaths", the likes of Yahoo, Google, MSN and others, are all catering to it in various ways. Let's look at some of the latest ways this is playing out...
Microsoft joins the battle with an RSS Service
Information week reported in March 2005, that Microsoft is now testing an RSS technology that will allow users to choose the RSS feeds they want to see. They are doing this to keep up with (Microsoft always seems reactive, rather than proactive as a company) Google, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves who already offer similar services.
You can review the test site at the super secret test site -- www.start.com/1/ (well... it was published in the Information Week article).
So, Microsoft Enters the Game? Ho hum for Microsoft, as they lag once again, in leading the wave. But, this is an indication of how seriously this Goliath is taking RSS, and you know where that leads... direct into the next release of Windows software.
Poddcasting, RSS, & Attachments... Oh My
Now here's a high octane way of using a combination of syndication feeds, and "Podcasting" (think of Broadcasting, but doing it from your computer to other devices like Apple's iPod) to get your message out. Maybe that's why one entrepreneur using this method, Steve Wirrick, calls his stock insights, sent via an audio attachment to an RSS feed, "High Octane Trading." You can read more about it (and get the feed) at Mr. Wirricks site (www.stevewirrick.com), where he describes it as, "a dynamic audio learning tool that takes advantage of a grassroots media revolution called, podcasting."
How to listen: To listen to a Podcast (and there are others -- check out iPodder.org), you need a free program called "iPodder -- Cross Platform podcast receiver"... get it at http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/index.php.
RSS meets PodCasting: Power to the people! Most people are just waking up to RSS syndication as a means to distribute the written word. They forgot about attachments. Watch this technology... with a free method of creation, and distribution, Radio could be set to learn from PodCasters what Print & TV journalists already understood from Bloggers -- the power is shifting. What are you going to Podcast?
BEEP... your RSS Feed is Calling...
RSS feeds on your cell phone -- who'd have thunk it? Now there's a service called "Feed Beep" which allows you to sign up and receive your crucial feeds, from employment information to medical, to Auctions. Looks like a start-up, and it appears to be free (for now) -- see www.feedbeep.com/.
Can You Hear your RSS Feed Now?: Great. Now that noisy guy at the theater can also get calls about his eBay auctions. What next? The service also sends feeds to your Pager. Hmmmm. What could be so important? I'm not sure, but it looks like we're destined to find out. But wait a minute... what about PodCasting RSS feeds to phones -- your phone becomes a Radio receiver. Hmmmm.
Let the Whole World Know your Schedule...
There's a Beta site ("Beta" simply means they're still testing it, and it's not quite ready for us Alpha people) up now where you can create an RSS Calendar. You set up your event calendar, create an RSS channel, then family and friends can view your calendar. Take it for a spin at RSSCalendar -- www.rsscalendar.com... it's free.
Calendar to the World: The site states you can share your Calendar with unlimited users. Hmmm. How is this different from calendars you can set up on Yahoo, MSN, etc.? Now, those who are too lazy to check a link you give them at those sites, can be force fed your calendar in their RSS Reader. OOPS... those same lazy people, will also have to go get and install an RSS reader (just do a Google search to find free RSS readers you can use). Fat chance if they are too lazy to simply link to a static calendar you might already have set up. But... if Microsoft builds this technology in... then... well! And, that takes us full circle on this edition of the RSS Round-up.
Scott Frangos is a writer, designer, and eCommerce marketer with over 20 years experience in Advertising. He has taught eCommerce, HTML, and Business courses at the college level in Portland, Oregon, and currently is Managing Partner of WebFadds.com. He also enjoys canoeing in the Pacific Northwest, with his wife and partner, Pepper. You can subscribe to the WebFadds.com RSS feed at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Webfaddscom