It’s a common throwaway line amongst online marketers: “RSS is dead”. But you’ll hear that coming from folk who probably have no idea what it is, and even less appreciation for what it really can do for them. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a technology with many tricks up its sleeve; for marketers and comms professionals it’s an effective way to pipe in filtered, next to real-time business intelligence directly from the web.
I personally use RSS in several ways: to subscribe to blogs, to expand my iGoogle online monitoring dashboard, for keyword trend analysis via Google Insights, and to create my own branded, customised content widgets.
Here’s one example below: a widget I’ve built through Widgetbox, focussing on the Qantas brand. I’ve run filtered search queries on various platforms for Qanats, and used the RSS outputs of each to create a separate monitoring tab. The source platforms used in this instance are Google News, Google Business News, Google Blog Search, Search Twitter, YouTube & Flickr.
Most widgets also have inbuilt syndication features which allow users to share the widget by grabbing embed code, or pushing it directly through to their favourite social media platforms (try out the ‘Get Widget’ function at the bottom of the widget below).
Image by Chasing the Shot