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Interesting RSS Use and Tools

Interesting RSS Tools and Use

The core use for RSS is generally considered news headlines and blog syndication, but innovative businesses are learning to use RSS in different ways. Consider RSS as a communication channel that can provide current, targeted information as it appears within a very targeted audience.

Monitoring Newsgroups/Usenet
Google Groups is a free online community and discussion group service that offers the Web's most comprehensive archive of Usenet postings. Google Groups can be monitored using RSS feeds. In order to monitor a specific newsgroup simply add "/feed/msgs.xml" to the end of the Google Group URL. Add the new URL to a newsgroup reader and receive updates each time a new post is added to the newsgroup.

Example Feed: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.shareware.authors/feed/msgs.xml

Calendars
Build a calendar for public or private use and receive calendar updates via an RSS feed. Calendars can be created for personal reminders to pay bills or attend social functions. Calendars can also be used for specific groups like schools, sporting events, or industry events. The calendar can be syndicated and shared using RSS feeds.

CalendarHub - http://www.calendarhub.com
Example Feed - http://www.calendarhub.com/rss/21882/month

Weather
Enter a zip code and obtain the weather information in a specific region. Click the orange RSS icon and add the feed to your reader. Each morning you will receive local and regional weather reports as they are made available. RSS feeds can be customized to include current local conditions, local Doppler radar, pollen trends, regional video forecasts with expert commentary, and extended forecast details.

Weather.com - http://www.weather.com or RSS Weather - http://www.rssweather.com

Classifieds (Homes/Jobs)
Curious about the availability of specific employment opportunities in a specific industry? Receive notification when positions are made available. RSS feeds can be created for regions, salary ranges, or positions.

RSSJobs - http://www.rssjobs.com or Craigslist Example Feed - http://www.craigslist.com/sof/index.rss


Ego Searches
Ego searches are free and simple searches designed to monitor blogs and news portals for mentions of your company, product, competitors, or other specific keywords. Conducting ego searches, not only allows you to stay informed, but also allows you to maintain a strategic advantage over competing companies. A number of new Internet services are freely available that make these 'ego searches' painless and easy.

Many of the services allow you to create a keyword based feed. Each time new information containing the keyword appears in the searched resources, the RSS feed updates.

More on Ego Searches: http://www.small-business-software.net/ego-searches.htm


Shipments
Receive notification via RSS feeds when packages are delivered. Custom RSS feeds can be created to monitor delivery progress. Track the status of packages shipped via US Postal Service, USP, DHL or Federal Express.

Simple Tracking - http://www.simpletracking.com/

Site Checks
Initially used by search engines to indicate new websites with top ranking for specific keywords. Many webmasters provide RSS feeds to let visitors know when web content changes occur.

Coupons or Specials
Everyone loves a bargain, RSS feeds that promote time sensitive discounts or offers are becoming increasingly popular. Restaurants convey lunch specials while travel companies convey last minute deals to prospective travelers using RSS Feeds.

Sample Restaurants Feed - http://www.bestrestaurants.com.au/xml/feed/dining-specials-australia.xml or
Sample Travel Feed - http://www.orbitz.com/rss/flightdeals.rss.xml

Auction Monitoring
Items on eBay are time sensitive, few individuals have time to make daily auction checks of new auctions for specific products. Create an RSS feed using keywords to monitor products as they become available for auction.

Bidding Tools - http://www.freebiddingtools.com
Example Feeds - http://www.freebiddingtools.com/rss/feeds/47459

RSS is still very young. Both publishers and consumers are actively seeking ways to exploit this communication medium. Additional uses of RSS feeds are popping up daily. Consider how your business might use this new communication medium to increase sales, increase productivity, and reach new customers.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

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This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to sharon@notepage.net .

Additional articles available for publication available at http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

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