Jonathan Lane, a fellow AIMS member, just posted the ADL (AIMS Discussion List) asking for people’s thoughts on RSS. Here is the reply I submitted to the Moderator (June Macdonald):
Thanks to Jonathan Lane for introducing RSS as an ADL topic!
I’ve been working with weblogs and RSS for a few years now and it is an essential part of my online experience. Many ADL readers are probably still in the dark about what RSS even IS, so I’d like to offer a few pointers to get people up to speed:
1. What is RSS? Hand’s down the best explanation of RSS and why it is important is here.
Another summary is at www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/ and of course Googling RSS will get you pretty far.
2. How can I stay on top of RSS news? There are tons of RSS resources popping up. Once you get a feed reader, you’ll be able to keep up with ALL of them! I’d suggest starting with Lockergnome’s RSS Resource Page and I’d also (humbly) point you to my blog as I’m posting most things I find on RSS as a marketing tool.
3. How does RSS impact e-mail marketing? Steve Outing published a great article in Editor and Publisher on RSS vs. e-mail marketing. Highly recommended.
4. What feed reader (aggregator) should I use?
There is no clear winner in the race to build a better reader, so you’ll need to do some research on this one. I’d suggest newsgator if you really like working in MS Outlook and FeedDemon if you want a standalone reader. My guess is that a year from now there will be three clear winners in the feed reader race (one web-based, one integrated into Outlook, and one standalone).
I look forward to some solid discussion on this topic in the coming weeks.
Personally, if I was picking initials to bet my future on, I’d take RSS over SMS any day.