Feed Me, Seymour! Why you need to get with the RSS program.
by Jimmy Marks
There was a time when I didn't see the point of RSS feeds. I didn't care to get all the information I wanted from one source. Who needs that kind of headache?
Turns out I do. When I'm here in my office, I'm usually working on twelve things at once (thanks, TV, for giving me the attention span of a three-month-old puppy, an asset of my personality that's both depressing and productive). Why go to 19 different news/magazine/blog sites when I can go to one site and get all the information?
So I use Google Reader, which comes with signing up for a Google account that gets you your gmail and your personalized Google information. It's not the fanciest thing in the world, but it does what I want. And when there's new sites that might interest me, I can look them up with Google's feed finder and they're all right there for me. Convenience, thy name is RSS.
So you're not into getting yourself a reader? Fine...here's another golden egg that's just been laid. It's called Tabbloid, and it's a service offered by Hewlett-Packard that takes RSS feeds and turns them into a PDF that gets delivered to your email account. The service is pretty new and it takes very little know-how to get going, so jump on it while it's fresh (go to tabbloid.com by clicking here). How did I know about Tabbloid? It came up as an article on a blog I read called "brand new". Which I have in my RSS FEED READER. Is this sinking in yet!?! (Thanks, brand new, for being great! A Link to their Article on Tabbloid)
But what if your site doesn't use RSS? Odds are if you're reading this, you're a professional our company works with or just someone with a curiosity about Web 2.0 type stuff. Well, your site can have an RSS feed and not be a blog site. It's true! There's a service called Feedity that turns static web pages into dynamic RSS feeds. It's a nifty tool and it's free (for the stripped down, ready-to-run version). Just type in your web address and use Feedity to start generating RSS feeds about your frequently updated content. Then offer that feed as a service to clients/people who use your site a lot. Go to Feedity by clicking here.
I get tired of repeating myself, so this is the last time I'll say it: you're wasting time "surfing" when you could be just reading. Web 2.0 is a way of making the internet come to you. So start getting in! You don't want to be standing on the dock when Web 3.0 (whatever that is) leaves port. Get in the game now and start eating up those feeds.