Using RSS Feeds for Economic Development Time Management // Derek Pillie LEDOsuite.comtwitter.com/LEDOsuitefacebook.com/LEDOsuiteyoutube.com/user/cirrusabslinkedin.com/companies/cirrus-abs
Using RSS Feeds for Economic Development Time Management // Derek Pillie LEDOsuite.comtwitter.com/dpilliefacebook.com/dpillielinkedin.com/in/dpilliejust search for “derekpillie” or “dpillie” Project Manager – LEDO Suite
RSS Feeds // What does RSS Mean? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication RSS is a standardized format used to publish frequently updated websites like blogs, newspapers or media, etc. The idea of syndicating or broadcasting website content is almost as old as our company! The first actual RSS feed was developed in 1999 Feeds didn’t see widespread adoption by website users until recently RSS feeds mean you can bring information from sites you visit to ONE source, processing the information on your terms without having to visit multiple websites!
RSS Feeds // What does RSS Mean? How did RSS feeds develop? Netscape (an early browser) developed a proprietary channel that was later replicated by AOL, Yahoo and Google They needed to develop a format that could easily process and display information in real time from content partners RSS 0.9 was born in 1999, but was primarily used by the media and their IT departments for web applications
RSS Feeds // What does RSS Mean? How is RSS used today? The advent of blogging encouraged the development of technology to read and manage RSS feeds As Internet users were able to manage these feeds on their own, more sources started developing tech- nology to read these feeds The first actual RSS feed was developed in 1999 Feeds didn’t see widespread adoption by website users until recently RSS is an extremely useful too for website design, but can also be harnessed to dramatically improve YOUR productivity!
RSS Feeds // Where do I find an RSS feed? The simple answer? Just about ANYWHERE! Public awareness of RSS feeds really took off when Microsoft Explorer adopted the orange and white logo Firefox had been using for feeds That logo is now ubiquitous, most browsers will recognize when there is a feed available on a website (see below for example) If there is a website that publishes information YOU are interested in, more than likely it has a feed you can manage!
RSS Feeds // Unconventional RSS Sources So you know the sites you frequent have feeds, but there ARE other uses! Track your Newman! Everyone has someone they compete with, that challenges them – for Jerry Seinfeld, it was Wayne Knight’s Newman LEARN FROM THEM!
RSS Feeds // Action 1 Identify your target Perform a Google News search for your target Google News will generate an RSS feed for your search Perform a Twitter search for your target
Twitter search will generate a feed for the query
Enter your target’s website into ChangeDetection.com
You can now quickly and effectively keep tabs on your competition!
RSS Feeds // Unconventional RSS Sources You can use the same tools for tracking your competition to monitor YOUR community’s reputation Just change your search parameters, look for target terms or key community organizations that people might talk about online. Use Google News and Twitter searches to monitor mentions of these events! You can use Twitter’s advanced search capabilities to monitor all Tweets within a specified radius of a ZIP Code!
RSS Feeds // Unconventional RSS Sources You can also use your RSS feeds to find content to write about or share on your own website! Identify information sources that cover topics that might be of interest to your target audiences, odds are they’ll publish something you can comment on or add value to for your own audience! Feeds can help to identify people you’d like to engage with via social media. Content generation is one of the most frequent complaints we receive! Use RSS feeds to conquer this challenge!
RSS Feeds // Processing RSS Feeds There are lots of choices out there! Ultimately you have to choose the reader or aggregator that is going to best meet your needs if utilizing RSS feeds is going to work for you. While you can pick any of these, we’re going to talk about Google Reader
RSS Feeds // Using Google Reader There are many reasons why I choose Google Reader to manage my feeds. (For the record, I started out as a Bloglines user) From a value and productivity standpoint, Google Reader beats out the competition in a few ways: It’s FREE It is easy to organize It is easy to move quickly from one article to the next You can “quickly” bookmark items that deserve more attention later You can work in an offline mode if you’re not connected to the Internet
RSS Feeds // Action 2 Setup Google profiles for you & your organizationhttp://www.google.com/profiles
RSS Feeds // Using Google Reader The keyboard is your friend! Flipping through articles can move very quickly once you learn a few simple keystrokes – principally “j” and “k”! You can use the keyboard to move from one story to the next, move from one folder to the next, bookmark an item for later viewing, and the list goes on. This simple innovation can actually save you a ton of time! See the entire list at: http://www.google.com/support/reader/bin/answer.py?answer=69973
RSS Feeds // Using Google Reader Social integration You can easily track or subscribe to items people you know share via Google Reader, as well as see any comments that were made about the item If you’ve used Gmail or Google Bookmarks, you’re familiar with the “star” system Google uses to save important items – this system lets you click items that deserve more attention so you can review them later. You can very easily share items via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or through Google Buzz by using the like feature
RSS Feeds // Action 3 Make a group! One of the great ways to manage your time reading RSS feeds is to group them into subject areas. Going back to the earlier slide you’ll notice I had a series of folders that covered different topics. I rank these groups in order of importance so I don’t have to churn through 300+ articles in one sitting, I can pick and choose which groups I read. Groups allow you to focus your time on the most important information.
RSS Feeds // Using Google Reader Working offline It seems people have no problem finding hotspots or connecting to online services via their smart phones, but offline access still has advantages For folks that tend to travel often, until the airlines allow you better access to wireless signals, having the flexibility to access your feeds offline can be a productive way to spend the time you can use your devices on the plane. If you “take your work home” being able to read and digest the events of the day offline might be a great way to keep you focused on work that can get done while you’re in the office.
RSS Feeds // Bookmarking Good Content Where do you store all this great content you find? There are many different services you can use, with varying degrees of functionality. Each service has its own advantages and disadvantages – del.icio.us will automatically generate a blog post of items you save! I prefer using Evernote because it lets me file items in “virtual filing cabinets” but also tag items so that I can find topical material easily no matter where it’s filed.
RSS Feeds // Use Content You Bookmark You’ve found it, you’ve stored it, now what? We’ve just reviewed a system that will allow you to consume vast amounts of information in a relatively short time, in theory saving time from your work day You need to identify your own strategy for using this information in a way that will be most effective for your organization. Prioritize functions we described that are critical and figure out a process that lets you use this information to better position your organization. You need to identify your own strategy for using this information in a way that will be most effective for your organization.
RSS Feeds // Manage Your Feed Profile This isn’t a one-time thing, it’s a process, it MUST be managed! You’ll need to evaluate the effectiveness of your system and the relevance of your feeds on an ongoing basis. Google Reader does provide you with some tools to analyze the value of your various feed subscriptions Just because you’re not reading all of the items in a feed doesn’t mean it has no value, evaluate each of these on a case by case basis
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