Due to questions that we have recently had from a few of our newer clients we thought a super quick article about what an RSS feed is (for those who don’t already know), what a RSS reader is and how having an RSS link on either your website or your blog will benefit your user and your business might make things a bit clearer for you.
What are RSS Feeds?
Ok let start with what RSS stands for – Really Simple Synchronisation and is based on the language XML and on the off chance that hasn’t answered all you questions, you’d better feed a bit more.
In short the RSS feed itself is like a web page that is designed to be read by computer rather than people. The ‘Feed’ webpage is populated with all the news and events of perhaps a blog or the news pages of your website. Now as you can see by the above sample the web pages is readable by your users and can simply be bookmarked within their browser so your users can visit easily and as often as they like? But what if there were a way that your articles to go to them!
That is what RSS is all about!
What is an RSS Feed Reader?
Ok in really simple terms a RSS Reader is fed the web addresses to the RSS Feed Web pages (the ones you have fed it), and does all the leg work for you.
According to the BBC Newsbeat website 135 million people where effected by facebook’s latest outage/crash last evening (@ around 7pm BST) and is said to be the ‘Worst in four years’.
The websites problems where said to have been initailly caused by some kind of software issue. While Facebook Engineers knew that to overcome the issues a controlled ‘Automated fix’ needed to be put into place however they soon discovered that the fix created even more problems and errors for the Socail Media website than it fixed.
In the end, the website was down for more than 2 and a half hours and left users being greeted by error messages such as “Network Error (dns_server_failure)”
The social media website was back up and running at around 10pm (BST) and user’s were slowly getting back their beloved facebook.
Social Media Giant Facebook is once again experiencing problems this evening.
Earlier this week we had some outages on the Social Networking website and loss of service for at least some of us however the Social Media Website technical staff put this down to "latency Server Issues", since then Facebook have struggled to get the Website back online properly and to a stable state.
Twitter is now a hive of Tweets from all over the world and from multiple time zones regarding the outages and speculation for what may be the cause.
21:15(BST) the error message is reading ‘Service Unavailable – DNS failure’ 21:49(BST) the error message is reading ‘Service Unavailable – DNS failure’
A Facebook Spokesman is reported to have said the outages are not linked.
As a website design company we are often asked to create bespoke images for our client’s websites, Print Design Projects and Marketing Material.
Some stuff is standard and really straight forward to do but some is a little funky both to look at and to produce. We thought that it might be useful if we produce a few tutorials or “How To’s” as we go along our merry way.
We’ll use this Article to link to future tutorials; we will also publish any new stuff/ offers or vouchers off to our Facebook Wall (so probably best Become a Fan Eh)
Blogging websites have been around for some time now but how many hang around and go on to be a successful information portals and how many wither at the road side limping from one article to the next?
If you’re a social blogger then anything goes really, the website is yours and besides offensive content (which your hosting company will likely remove) you have free rein to be as expressive and informative (or not) as you like. However if your blog is a Business Social Marketing tool then informative content should be high on your blog development strategy.
In a world where information is widely available at the tip of your finger (or rather at the end of a search engine) your users will become less and less willing to pay for the information.
One of the Golden rules of Online Marketing; Information is worth more when it’s free!
How the heck are we supposed to make are knowledge worth anything?
How to Make your Words Matter
Influential Information is all about giving your users a darn good explanation for what you are writing. It’s about creating content that they not only understand, but also value, because valued information is digested, commented on and is where opinions are formed. Your users will feel a sense of ownership to your article (as it will contain their opinions) and at this point your users is more likely to promote on your behalf and/or it will become self perpetuating.
It may take months, even years to get to a place where your articles are thought of as a reputable source but when you do, this is when your words and knowledge is worth something.
Now it may well be that you aren’t trying to sell anything directly but the principle is the same. Whatever your call to action may be create a ‘Zero down side and they have absolutely nothing to lose’ scenario.
Ok, well your reading this article so I am guessing that you already know how important your reputation is and in almost all cases a good reputation is pivotal to long term business success. Building a solid reputation in the business world is rarely something that just falls in your lap, it takes direction and discipline. But one thing you can be sure of is that you do have reputation, deliberate or otherwise – but how much do you actually know about yours?
If you’ve nurtured and guided your reputation from the start then you will probably have a pretty good idea of how your reputation is shaping up. However it never hurts to check from time to time with perhaps a feedback survey. Enter, stage left, Social Media Networking.
Use the tools that your customers are already using. The Social Media Giant Facebook broke the 24million user mark just in the UK earlier this year. Meaning that a large percentage of potential customers are already using the Social Networking website that you could be tapping into and utilising fully with perhaps a specific targeted FBML page or a free tool with Facebook to generate a Poll to gain feedback on what your customers really think of you.
Benchmark Your Reputation
If however you have let your reputation evolve by accident rather than by design you may want to start on the path of firstly finding out what people think of you and secondly whether or not you’re happy with the reputation that you have and now know about.
Obtaining feedback from your customers (those you have already dealt with) is a relatively straight forward process. Present your customer with a feedback form when they next pay an invoice, if they return the form give them 5% off their invoice – simple!
If you’re trying to find out what non customers think about you (and you may have to consider that their thought on your reputation is the reason they are a non customer) you are going to have try somewhat harder. As many have said before me “make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse”. Identify a niche need in your target and offer to fulfil that need where the prize has a significantly larger value to them than the price (whatever that may be).
From March 2011 Online Marketing Communications (which is essentially all online advertising and marketing) will be covered by UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing.
‘Will Not Affect Online Marketing Tactics’
Online Marketing will be the regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA). This signals an expansion of the ASA’s remit by including the online arena but a spokesperson has said that this ‘will not affect online companies’ marketing techniques’
Caroline Roberts, director of public and legal affairs at the ASA stated that the new agreement does not change existing rules but rather extends the ASA’s scope to include online marketing communications. The ASA can take action against marketing companies that fail to comply with regulation requiring them to amend or withdraw offending material.
"The ASA is a self-regulatory body, so it doesn’t have the power to impose sanctions such as fines," Ms Roberts commented. "However, the ASA can [require firms] to seek pre-approval for all future adverts."