RSS Aggregator > About RSS > Uses
How do companies use RSS?
- Keep customers and potential customers informed about their company, products, services and promotions
- Keep suppliers updated with: company, policy, procedure and standards information
- Keep employees and associates informed about the company and matters that effect them such as incentive schemes; organisational change; and new joiner details
- Support distributed salesforces and resellers
- Provide details of system changes and even provide automated update routines driven by RSS
- Promote globalisation by providing channels in multiple languages allowing recipients to choose the language they prefer
- Ensure secure communication using password-protected and encrypted channels
Why do companies use RSS?
After all, there are web sites, Email newsletters, web forums; why do we need another method of communication?
RSS provides some distinct benefits over other forms of internet publication:
- For web sites to be effective as publication tools, people have to visit the sites regularly. That takes time and people have to remember to do it. If there's no new news people quickly become disenchanted with the site and stop visiting. RSS only takes people to a site if they know there is something worth seeing.
- Email is fast losing its value as a publication tool. People are being bombarded by Emails and, as a result, they aggressively delete Emails that have no immediate interest. RSS feeds don't clog up in-boxes; nor do they get in the way of day-to-day business.
- The increase in spam has encouraged many people to implement sophisticated anti-spam measures - and there's little to distinguish a spam message from a genuine news item. RSS feeds by-pass anti-spam feeds. This is quite ethical because the Aggregator provides only information the reader has chosen to see.
- People are nervous about Emails inviting them to click links. This because of publicity surrounding phishing scams. RSS channels contain links that can be trusted because readers always know where the links come from. Sources can't be faked like Email 'from' addresses.
- Email newsletters require the distributor to keep details about recipients including Email addresses. People are understandably reluctant to provide those details. RSS channels require no information at all!
- Many companies implement Email filters that stop Emails containing offensive material. The trouble is, the filters have a tendency to reject inocuous words that would appear offensive in another context. Again, RSS feeds by-pass the filters making sure the message gets through.
- Those same filters can also reject innocuous attachments simply because virus writers can use attachments of the same type to deliver malicious payloads. RSS feeds by-pass the Email filters so can distribute attachments without difficulty.
How do individuals use RSS?
In the main, people use RSS to publish journals of what they are doing. These 'weblogs' or 'blogs' range from fascinating to mundane. Some are of limited appeal, others are followed avidly by thousands. Some are, frankly, bizarre!
Doesn't RSS reduce the value of web sites?
The point is debatable. Certainly, people no longer have to keep coming back to see if there is any news. Arguably, though, an RSS feed keeps people interested much longer. When they do decide to read a news item, they are definitely interested in what the site has to say. That makes for a better quality of visitor. For sites that rely on advertising revenue, RSS still works because:
- Adverts can be embedded into RSS feeds
- Feeds can link to items from the web site; viewing the item means people also see the advertising material on that page.