Really Simple(?) Syndication (Chapter 18)

Posted on July 14, 2011


It is called Really Simple Syndication, which seems to be just a way for the techies that created RSS to remind all of us of our stupidity.  After all, if I don’t understand Really SIMPLE Syndication, how smart can I be?  Yet, that is exactly how I’ve felt reading The Social Media Bible.  In so many of the chapters, Safko mentions something about including (fill in the blank) in an RSS feed so that people can subscribe to it.  I have the button on my blog, but I was feeling pretty clueless about everything else.  I was hopeful, though, because I knew that Safko would be explaining RSS later.  I just needed to make it to Chapter 18.

I came, I saw, and I have yet to conquer.  Perhaps I’m over thinking this whole thing.  Maybe Really Simple Syndication is actually simple.  I tried to tackle RSS from the consumer side of things.  Safko recommends getting a reader like iGoogle for your RSS subscriptions.  Silly me…I thought that when I “subscribed” to an RSS feed it was sent to my email.  I was wondering why I wasn’t getting anything in my email account.

Hopefully, your consumers/customers/associates are not as technically unsavvy as me.  I really thought that I had a handle on most of the basic social media tools, but the RSS feed had me over thinking everything.  Technical difficulties aside…having a link for an RSS feed seems like a no brainer for businesses and organizations wishing to keep others in the loop.  Aside from the light bulb that recently turned on relating to RSS, there was one other aha moment from Chapter 18.

While discussing the ROI for B2B Twitter, Safko makes a quick mention of a URL.  Having seen URLs like these on many tweets, I checked out the website.  What I found was amazing!  Simple, yes (but that is the theme for this chapter).  At, you can change long URLs into a nice short one that works much better for Tweeting.  Do other people know these things, because I feel like I missed that page of the non-existent manual?

As for the RSS feed…how can we use it most effectively for marketing purposes?  Marketing blogger Patrick Schaber offered nine suggestions.

– Consistent Posting

– Have some original content (don’t just alter a few things on someone else’s article/post)

– Let Me Share (provide buttons for sharing)

– Break Up Your Text (use pictures)

– Forget the 30-part series

– Show Number of Comments

– Don’t Bombard the Reader (don’t try to sell product in every post)

– Title, Title, Title

– Give a Little (let readers get to know you through your RSS feed)

(see entire blog at