Term Paper: Effect of RSS Feeds on Businesses and Its Consumers Regarding PR

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¶ … RSS Feeds in Customer and Public Relations

The collection of technologies referred to as Web 2.0 (Bernoff, Li, 2008) share the common goals of ensuring a higher level of communication, collaboration, information-sharing and responsiveness between individuals and groups. Web 2.0 is a commonly used term to define the second generation of services available over the Internet that are designed to enhance online interactive communication and collaboration (Bernoff, Li, 2005) (McAfee, 2006). One of the key technologies included in the Web 2.0 set of services is RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or as it is also referred to in other engineering specifications (Rich Site Summary) (Amorin, 2008) (Gaspar, 2005). The series of RSS standards have become pervasive in use as a means of communicating updates from websites, blogs, news organizations and any other content-generating organization. Based on the XML messaging standard, RSS feeds can be aggregated into an RSS Reader, a thin-client based application that runs typically in a Web browser, where all the feeds can be viewed in summary form. For consumers and the general public, the use of RSS Readers or aggregators provide the benefit of being able to scan updates provided by RSS feeds from blogs, news organizations and websites of interest without having to visit each specific blog entry or site. The implications for companies from a customer and public relations standpoint are critical, as the reliance on RSS Readers as the preferred form of gaining updates from blogs, news sources and websites of interest have for many consumers and PR professionals replaced printed media including newspapers and magazines. RSS technology has transformed how consumers and PR professionals choose to stay in touch with what's happening in their areas of interest (Gaspar, 2005). This has also been evident in larger corporations' adoption of RSS feeds to create higher levels of interdepartmental collaboration as well, often using RSS feeds to keep others on project and marketing teams informed (McAfee, 2006).

RSS is a Critical Component of any Communications Strategy

Consumers and PR professionals alike are finding that RSS Readers simplify the process by which they stay connected and informed as to their areas of interest. It is therefore critical for companies to offer this functionality across all forms of electronic media, from blogs to websites, to give consumers and communications professionals the opportunity to stay continually informed regarding their subjects of interest. RSS Readers greatly simplify the task of staying up-to-date on subjects of interest.

From the company and content provider perspective, RSS feeds are used for driving traffic back to their blogs and websites (Hedgebeth, 2007). This has proven to be effective in increasing the number of subsequent RSS feeds subscribed to from the website as well. The critical lesson learned however from driving those reading RSS feeds back to a website is that the same conventions of interactive communication need to be supported there as well. This translates into a commitment on the part of companies and organizations to have their websites be more interactive, more frequently updates sources of information and insights as opposed to being merely electronic brochures. Web 2.0 is all about getting into conversations with customers (Bernoff, Li, 2008) and to accomplish this, RSS feeds are seen as the first step in inviting consumers, communication and PR professionals, prospects, and stakeholders of the company to interact with the company rather than get blasted product messaging only. The lesson learned from the first companies who used RSS feeds to drive visits back to their website was that the site had to deliver on the promise of interactive content and the opportunity for all those interested to gain greater insight through interactive exchange rather than being greeted by static web pages that did little to serve them (Sinickas, 2007).

As RSS feeds are an information service to consumers, communications and PR professionals, organizations providing them need to keep the content informative, insightful, interactive and when appropriate, linking back to their websites to add greater value to the discussion in the given post shown. As a result of RSS feeds being seen as an information service, there is a wide variation in their use. News organizations were among the first adopters of this technology, with the BBC, CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and many others. In addition, Amazon.com also pioneered the development of RSS feeds to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Effect of RSS Feeds on Businesses and Its Consumers Regarding PR.  (2008, April 30).  Retrieved August 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/effect-rss-feeds-businesses-consumers/3456

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"Effect of RSS Feeds on Businesses and Its Consumers Regarding PR."  Essaytown.com.  April 30, 2008.  Accessed August 20, 2019.