Saturday, November 27, 2004

RSS Brainstorming

The more I learn about RSS, the more excited I get. There is A LOT of potential, and a lot of room to really be creative with it.

I was just reading up on template modifications - and it seems you can easily integrate either WordPress or Moveable Type into a current site template. I like the fact that you can import posts from Blogger into MT, too - which makes for an easy transition. (If you can do this with WP, I havent figured out how yet) Here is the documentation I was looking at:

I was also reading over Robin Good's RSS Top55 guide and decided to buy the "premium version" of his guide. It does have even more resources, and is very well categorized, but the main reason I chose to spend the 5 bucks was for a version that would print nicely. I added this to the RSS binder that I have been slowly putting together with information I've found around the web in the last couple of months.

I think one of the best resources I have come across lately was Feed-for-All, which I found while reading Paul Short's course (RSS Exposed). FFA allows you to manually create feeds, which you can then run through RSS Digest's free web-based tool ( to display these feeds in various places throughout your website.

An article database, for example, could easily be categorized and then appropriate listings could be placed on pages with similar content. Or archives of newsletter issues. Or, I could use the feed from my Discussion Forum... create a feed for each topical category, and then place the feed on relevant pages of my website. Like topics from the eBay category on my web pages that discuss eBay. And topics from my Affiliate Marketing category on any web pages on that same topic.

Those are just examples of looping your own content back into your own web pages - more for your visitors sake, and to really create a comprehensive content-based website. But there are also SEO advantages... as you are creating inbound links to various pages from relevant pages, with keyword-rich anchor text.

Having this content syndicated, or gaining a solid readership to these topic-specific feeds, would also be very beneficial for any website.

This seems to be what most people (who are the least bit interested in RSS) are thinking - ways to syndicate content, ways to pull in fresh content, ways to increase exposure & readership for your content... but you dont hear much about using RSS with a product-based website, or "product feeds". However, this is an area that has really caught my interest!

Let's just use Gaming as an example. My son (Zack, 13yo) is really into the latest games - playstation 2, Xbox, computer games, etc. So a Feed that came out with the latest games, game consoles, accessories, upgrades, tips & cheats, etc, etc, etc - would be something he would subscribe to and probably read on a daily basis!

Imagine how useful this would be, versus email - or having to check back on a bookmarked site frequently. You would be the FIRST to know about the latest thing out.

I'm sure you can imagine other scenarios - either from a user's perspective, or as a merchant yourself.

As I've said before, the only limit to the potential with RSS is our own creativity ;)