Get the Internet on Your Own Terms Written by Chris Ellington
RSS for Rest of Us
I don't know about you, but I'm seeing a whole bunch of articles and websites telling me that I need to get into this RSS thing.
Is it really time?
RSS (it stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is latest wave of internet technology designed to take advantage of "Content is King" mentality. Imagine getting direct access to content you want, without having to give out your personal information. Wouldn't that be nice?
Here's how it works: You find a website you like and look for little orange XML button, or a link that says "Syndicate this site". When you click that link, you get raw feed of content from that site.
An example: My Simplified Selling site allows you to syndicate my content. That means you don't have to remember to visit my site to discovers articles of interest, but instead they are fed to your preferred RSS reader (more on this in a moment) at your behest.
That means you no longer have to open your browser and visit a particular website to see what's new, to find out if anything interesting has been posted. All you have to do is open your RSS reader and content from all over web is gathered into one place and presented for your review. An RSS reader is one-stop shopping for online information.
RSS Readers There are hundreds of RSS readers on market. You can collect RSS Feeds on your "My Yahoo!" page, or your "MyMSN" page. Current, updated content from your preferred sites is presented for your reading pleasure. Check first few lines and if you're interested, just click and you are instantly transported to that particular article. No more hunting around on a site looking for an article you like.
Newsgator (www.newsgator.com) is a third-party add-in that turns your Outlook mail client into an RSS reader. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has incorporated an RSS reader into latest release of Outlook.
You can also get stand-alone RSS readers from Bloglines (www.bloglines.com) and RSSReader.com (www.rssreader.com). A quick Google search for "RSS Reader" returned over 2 million pages. You'll have no trouble finding an RSS reader that you like.
But why? That's really question. Of course we know why internet folks want you to subscribe to their content, but why would average websurfer want to go through hassle of setting up and subscribing to RSS feeds?
Your Website Reflects Your BusinessWritten by Tia Scott
Imagine walking into a store to buy a pair of shoes. You don’t know what brand of shoes you want, but you have a good idea of what color. As you enter store, you notice isles are clogged with shoes outside of their box, laying around, being neglected. Some left shoes are in isle 5, while right shoes are in isle 3. Shoe hills are in random places. You can barely walk through store without stumbling over a shoe. No employees are in sight. As you are desperate for help, you finally make it past heaping hill of shoes to back of store and find a button that says “Page for Help”. You press button and out comes a card that says “please leave your mailing address, we’ll send you a letter”. Frustrated, you leave store, and finally realize there is a Footlocker across street. We all know how first impressions can make or break a potential customer's decision to buy. With more and more people discovering internet, most businesses do not realize that their company website is customer's first impression. A Reflection of How You Do Business Your website should be a reflection of your business. Would you allow your customers to walk through a maze to get your contact information? Do you want to answer your customer's questions or leave them guessing? Do you want them to find your product information? Your website will reflect these answers back to your customer. What Web Design Isn’t Web Design is not: •All Bells and Whistles •A Tease •A Get Rich Quick Scheme All The Bells and Whistles Would you buy a luxury car that got you ten miles and then died? Then why would you want your website to be best but unfunctional? Sometimes we forget that having best of best of something means to sacrifice something else. For instance, have you ever seen a website made entirely in Macromedia Flash? ( Click here for more info about flash ) There is nothing wrong with a nicely animated website, however, this will shut out potential customers who do not have, nor wish to install flash player plug-in. This restricts certain users who have certain plugins installed on their computers, and you don’t want to ever shut out potential customers. If you wish to do that, make sure you have a good purpose and make sure you clearly state on your website what those requirements are. A Tease It’s better to have too much information than too little. Don’t expect a potential customer to want to wade through pages to contact you for more information. If you sell pink shoe laces and neglect to put that information on your website, your potential customer may end up going somewhere else to look for pink show laces. It’s too easy to just ‘go somewhere else’, or ‘do another search engine query’. A Get Rich Quick Scheme Why Nancy, only fools rush in. A common misconception I have seen is that business owners believe their website will attract millions of visitors within first week of creating their website. Without funds, research and dedicated time, this is simply not true. The instant you upload your website, it is lost in millions and billions of virtual pages across internet. You have to market your website just like you market your business; tell people. You will not get keyword you want from search engines, you will not receive millions of visitors, and you will not sell all your products within first week. However, if you take time to do your research, study internet marketing, spread your website via word of mouth, and design careful search engine placement; you CAN get keyword you want, you CAN receive millions of visitors and you CAN sell all your products. What Web Design Is Web Design is: •A Sales Tool •A Cost Efficient Expansion of Your Business •A Community Service A Sales Tool You can think of your website as a brochure. We have an attractive image on front that says “open me, you know you want to”. Inside we have product information, company information, contact information, and reasons why potential customer should choose you. With happy thoughts, potential customer now turns into buying customer because your website reflected everlasting impression of what your business is. A Cost Efficient Expansion of Your Business Imagine being able to keep your store open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Imagine being able to sell products and services in your sleep. Imagine being able to sell to anyone, anywhere, to whatever region you want. Sounds nice doesn’t it? This is what your website should be providing for you. Hiring a web designer, paying monthly web hosting space, and purchasing a yearly domain name costs a fraction of what it does if you were to open several locations around world. This tell customer “We provide options for you.”. Imagine how grateful someone in a wheelchair would be if they didn’t have to have someone drive them to your business to shop around, or what if they were bedridden and couldn’t leave their homes at all? A Community Service What better way to say “I love you” than to bring people together. This is another way you can use your website to reflect your business. A community focused business website brings your customers together who have similar interest and who feel warm and fuzzy inside for finding a group of people just like them. For instance, ecademy.com is a perfect example of a community focused website. It’s exciting to wake up, check your email and get a personal message from a fellow networker. You can start more focused interest clubs, you can write articles. You feel apart of something. What A Web Developer Isn’t •A Miracle Worker •A One Service Provider •A Lazy Bum