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The Key To Moving Beyond the Recession

Over the past year, as a Nation we have witnessed a financial meltdown, which has been unlike any other series of events that many of us have lived through. Millions have lost jobs, and confidence in the market has eroded. Certainly, it is normal for the market to have fluctuations and for corrections to take place from time to time, but the last year was beyond what anyone including the “experts” had envisioned. The repercussions from these recent events run deep and have impacted millions; leaving many wondering what tomorrow will bring. As organizations look to the future and to moving forward beyond the financial crisis, and as markets strengthen and projects move forward, perhaps the most important component to the recovery is Communications. I do not write that flippantly, nor because it is the arena in which you or I practice. Instead, in order to get our Nation back to work, and to ease everyone’s concerns we must leverage the opportunities before us in today’s new media landscape to openly and honestly communicate and share the direction that our organizations and clients envision. Whether that means sharing notes and information via today’s social media tools such as Twitter, or Facebook, or doing a periodic Podcast interview with members of the C-Suite, or doing a media tour to promote events and campaigns. Utilizing these tools affords us the opportunity to share where our organizations (and our client’s) are heading with both internal and external audiences. Further, sharing our message will help to ease people’s fears, and instill confidence in the greater business environment and to our customers. While the...

Google Takes on RSS; A Simple Fix

Having been focused on RSS-based tools for the last few years, I often take a few minutes during a presentation or meeting to discuss what the acronym really means.  Anyway you go about it, when you call it Real Simple Syndication, you can’t help but wonder who named the technology that, because for most it’s anything but simple.  Actually, it’s not so much the fault of the technology, but rather the implementation in its earlier days, which often forced users to see a screen full of funky looking code if they didn’t have the right software. However, despite poor implementation, which was probably pre-mature for the general public, RSS is quite a powerful tool.  Now, if you’re reading this and haven’t quite figured it out yet here’s my definition – RSS is a dynamic bookmark.  So whereas we used to bookmark a site that we liked, one would have to proactively re-visit the website and manually browse for updates, with RSS those newest updates are simply pushed to the platform of your choice.  That could mean you get the latest news, updates, or stories via a customized Portal such as My Yahoo, iGoogle, or via any number of desktop based programs. The irony with RSS is that perhaps some of its benefactors, such as Podcasting, have actually faired better and become more mainstream than RSS itself.  Well, now enter Google, who purchased Blogger (See Story) in 2003, and it looks like they have a solution, which will very simply rebrand RSS and make it more useful for the general public.  As ReadWriteWeb points out, perhaps taking the lead from...

Extra Extra – Get Your Newspaper via RSS!

In today’s ever changing and complex media landscape it is my belief that our audiences increasingly have very unique and different media habits.  That said, it makes communicating for both traditional outlets, as well as organizations somewhat more challenging and more avenues are needed to reach the same audiences that used to be accessible via traditional methods.  However, while in many instances we’re talking about delivering content in an entirely new formation, I think that there are some largely untapped methods for using new venues to deliver traditional content.  Specifically, there’s a little known fact that RSS/Podcasting technology can allow for the delivery of PDF documents to subscribers. So, here’s my request/recommendation/gripe; call it what you want but I think it is simple and would allow newspapers to benefit from these new tools.  I want my daily paper delivered as a PDF via an RSS feed, which can mean getting the paper delivered through iTunes, or on my customized homepage.  Now before you say I’m crazy, just hear me out because in part, I think that despite the advances we’ve made with the web and the delivery of content in general this would largely allow newspapers to preserve the traditional experience that they are synonymous with in the online world.  This tactic would create an additional distribution vehicle for newspapers, which would potentially allow them to recoup some of the eyeballs that they have lost in the past few years.  In turn this would create another vehicle advertisers, which would be measurable, and perhaps best of all this strategy would come at relatively low cost for most news organizations,...

Putting the “Simple” in Real “Simple” Syndication

Since the technology’s inception, there’s been quite a bit of irony in the term Real Simple Syndication (RSS).  For most its been difficult to explain and/or understand what RSS can do and how it can be used, and moreover what exactly makes it “simple”. As a matter of fact, until just recently, the majority of web visitors would click on an RSS button and be confronted with a page full of code, which often left them quickly searching for the back button, or they would close their browser window thinking they had done something terribly wrong to have such a confusing mess of code on their screen. The fact of the matter is until some new tools hit the market users had to be advanced and have a separate RSS reader installed and configured on their computer – an extra step many users simply weren’t comfortable with, or wanted indulge in. For those of you that are still wondering exactly what an RSS feed is – it’s essentially a dynamic bookmark. Think of it in this capacity; ten years ago we book marked websites that we liked but then we had to proactively return to those sites to seek out new and updated content. Today, we can click on an RSS feed and “subscribe” to the site’s content with ease and new content from that site will automatically be pushed to our computer. So, rather than visiting CNN ever few hours, RSS allows us to automatically receive updates. With that in mind, as predicted, with the release of Internet Explorer 7, the growth of Firefox, and Vista’s arrival in...

Alternative Media In High Gear

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the growing world of Podcasts, Blogs, & RSS Feeds.  Now, PQ Media track’s the growth of these market segments and their growing importance as a part of the modern advertising matrix.  From PQ Media: The culmination of six months of primary research, this report found that blog, podcast and RSS advertising are the fastest growing segments of the alternative media industry. These segments, known as user-generated online media, expanded at an aggregate 198.4% to $20.4 million in 2005, and are expected to grow another 144.9% to $49.8 million in 2006. Blog advertising accounted for 81.4%, or $16.6 million, of total spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising in 2005, but will comprise only 39.7% of the total in 2010 Podcast advertising, meanwhile, reached $3.1 million in 2005, and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 154.4% from 2006 to 2010, when it will be larger than blog advertising RSS advertising, non-existent until mid-2005, generated spending of $650,000 in 2005, but will be the fastest growing segment over the next five years A free download is available from PQ’s site that includes the executive summary and index of the report, which is also available for...

Getting More out of RSS

This is a great list of uses of RSS feeds and how users can benefit from RSS beyond just receiving the news headlines.  The list was published by Basement.org and we were lucky enough to learn about it via Steve Rubel’s Micro...