RSS - 3/3 - Duct Tape Marketing

Tag Archives for " RSS "

15 A Google Calendar List of Events Feed on Your Web Site

If you’ve ever wanted to easily publish a schedule of upcoming event, deadlines or even birthdays as a dynamic list rather than a calendar style page here’s an RSS trick for you to use. (This can be done on a public or private page)

  • Create a free Google Calendar account and slug in all the dates on the calendar (Any shareable calendar will do)
  • Google automatically creates an RSS feed for your calender – take this URL and create free Feedburner account
  • Optimize the feed using the Event Feed option from Feedburner
  • Publish the feed using Feedburner’s BuzzBoost option – lots of options for display
  • Paste the code Feedburner produces for you on the page you would like your list to show

Using this formula produces a dynamically changing list of events that will run from first up to last, automatically drop events that have passed, and automatically bring in future events per your settings. Now, anyone with access to a web browser and your Google Calendar account can update and edit your events list.

Here’s an example I use for my upcoming speaking events (see the right sidebar) Bonus – you can easily set this up so others can subscribe to this events list too.

What Do You Want To Know About Using RSS in Marketing

I’m participating in a panel on RSS for Marketing at SXSW in Austin on March 11th.

I thought it would be fun to do a podcast show with some of the esteemed panel members prior to the event. My guests for this show are Tom Markiewicz of EvolvePoint, Bill Flitter of Pheedo, Emily Chang of Ideacodes and Greg Reinacker from NewsGator

Okay Duct Tape Readers, here’s where you can play. I’ve set up a listener comment line for my podcast and you get to be a part of the podcast when you use it. Simply dial (214) 615-6505 ext 2357 and record a question for this panel. Let’s hear your greatest burning questions about how to use RSS as a marketing tool.

Best question or two will be part of the podcast – your actual voice – so sound smart. (You can use this line to ask any marketing questions or comment on past shows too.)

2 Memetracking – not just for techies anymore

Memetracking has taken on a bit of a full blown well, meme. First, the definition of meme from wikipedia.

Sites that cluster and track trends, topics and news will become very important this year and offer the average small business marketer some of the best aggregated and filtered content going. These services track real-time conversations going on at the minute and collect the entire conversation from around the world in one easily digestable place. You must start adding these sites to your RSS reader.

One of the clear leaders in this space at the moment is tech.memorandum. Creator Gabe Rivera has also launched several niche versions.

Other serious players to consider include:

Gabe, I want to help you start the small business version!

Like many services, each will have its fans. Look at them all, find the one that you like the best and make visiting a habit. You’ll get smarter, faster.

5 Your Readers Don't Care What the Technology Is Called

Lots has been made of late about whether RSS is catching on with mainstream web surfers.

Depending upon who you listen to, only somewhere around 4-5% of Americans know what RSS is – even though they may consume content via this method everyday.

I am reading various theories and predictions about the future of RSS, and why it has not caught on in the main, all the while RSS publishers are experiencing huge subscribers gains from somewhere.

Here’s the deal. Stop worrying about what it’s called, what standard to use, what terms you employ when attempting to help your readers understand RSS and just use smart marketing principles to increase your readership

Biggest smart marketing principle when it comes to RSS?

Forget about the technology and make it easy for people to subscribe in a manner they already understand. Now, having said that, I’m not saying that you can’t cater to the “cutting edge tech crowd,” you can, but make sure that you also cater to the AOL, MSN, MyYahoo and “can’t you just send me an email” crowd.

You don’t do this by trying to convince someone that they “should” know that this is the defacto standard for an RSS feed. Maybe someday, but I doubt it, will mean something to everyone, but right now it says to some, “I’m a blog snob and this is the only way you can subscribe to my blog so, if you don’t know what this is then, go away.”

That’s like saying to a reader of an ad, we have this long distance number and if you call sometime between 2 and 4 on Tuesday, we’ll take your order – would you ever do that? Lower the tech barrier to entry – give them an email contact, web site, toll free number and fax option to place their order!

Here’s my list of ways you should offer you readers access to your RSS feed. (Feel free to add more)

Auto-discovery (started with that one for all the tech people rolling their eyes up to this point) – Add a line of code like this in the head tag of your blog or anywhere else your RSS feed appears (post blog headlines on other web pages!) link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="your feed URL" /When you do this Firefox users and IE7 users will be able to find and subscribe to your blog’s feed in their browser window.

Create a subscriber Center – Add links and buttons to your site that allow people to subscribe using , Add to Google, and Add to My AOL. These are tools that many of your readers are already using.

Let them subscribe via email – 4-5% knowingly subscribe to RSS – 100% use email – enough said.

Promote cross subscribing – If you already have an email list, encourage them to subscribe to your RSS feed. Marketing Sherpa has an interesting case study that explains how Travelocity searches its email database for Yahoo and MSN subscribers and then sends them an add to MyYahoo or add to MyMSN link to their RSS feed. They report that over 2/3 of the recipients subscribe. Now you have another access point for your message.

Mobilize Your Blog

WINKsite I’m not sure if mobilize is a word, but if not, it will become one soon. Not because I used it, because the mobile device is getting more powerful, more common and more useful as a business tool.

Blog readers are now subscribing to and reading blogs using mobile phones and PDAs. From what little research I have done there is an entire version of HTML just for mobile reading. While converting all of your web pages, blog posts and RSS feeds to mobile standards may well make sense, it looks like a pretty big undertaking.

A fairly new service called WINKsite allows you to easily turn your current blog RSS feed into a version that can be consumed very nicely by mobile readers. Click on the winksite button in this feed and see an emulated view of how a mobile reader would see the Duct Tape Marketing blog feed.

Using this new technology certainly comes under the heading of coolness, but I think that it also supports one of my major marketing principles as well – deliver your marketing message in as many forms and formats as you can.

The service also allows you to create mobile content beyond your blog including journal entries, forum posts and lists of syndicated feeds.