Easy as Pie
Spam filters are a definite improvement in the world of cyber communications. But, face it, it’s annoying and potentially costly to have legitimate e-communications trapped in overzealous filters.
There’s a solution: RSS, or Really Simple Syndication. And, yes, it really is simple. Nonetheless, while some nonprofit organizations have been using RSS as an alternative to e-mail for some time now, others have hung back, unconvinced that a significant percentage of Web users actually are using RSS readers.
That’s all about to change. In mid-October, Microsoft announced that it bundled an RSS reader with its latest version of Internet Explorer — a move that essentially guarantees that every person who upgrades to IE 7 will have an RSS reader on board.
Moreover, access to the reader couldn’t be more simple. Users open it up simply by clicking on an icon embedded in IE 7’s tool bar at the top of the browser. Adding RSS feeds — messages sent over the Web that bypass the Internet’s e-mail system — takes just a mouse-click or two. Accessing feeds already added to the reader is just as easy.
Not surprisingly, Web marketing gurus who have been tracking RSS’ growing popularity, and using RSS for years, are ecstatic. Steve Rubel, a senior vice president at global public-relations firm Edelman, describes the release of IE 7 as “the day the entire world gets RSS.”
“As more people start reading RSS feeds … it will force everyone to begin to integrate (RSS) feed communication initiatives in their marketing and PR programs,” Rubel says. “News and blog posts are just the beginning. Couponing and all kinds of other communiqués will go into (RSS) feeds, as well as ads and more.”
Jeff Larche, vice president of interactive services for marketing agency ec-connection, agrees: “Once adopted by a critical mass of Internet users, RSS feeds will change interactive marketing permanently.”