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Live Presentation Today: RSS for Business

Filed under: RSS — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

I’ll be giving a one hour presentation on using RSS for your business today at the Open Technology Business Center in Beaverton, Oregon and the organization broadcasts all its presentations in live video via UStream. Update: Notes below, above the book stuff. Will post video when avail. Presentation time is 12 noon PST. Embedded below is the player, I hope you’ll consider stopping by for a visit. I’ll share some thoughts on what I consider to be one of the most important technologies on the web for communication and I’d love your feedback. Live chat is enabled at this page. Though the talk is aimed primarily at businesses, if nonprofit readers here are able to ignore the parts about using RSS to grind up flowers and fairies for profit, there should be some information of interest to you as well.

Here’s part 1, the action starts a little bit in and there’s more advanced stuff in parts two and three. Brief notes for the whole talk are below.

Coincidentally, I’m also working on a book proposal for a publisher interested in a work concerning RSS. The original title was “RSS for Power Users” but the number 1 bit of feedback I’ve gotten is that the title has to change! Otherwise, feedback so far has been on balance good. Below is that proposal, just pasted in as I’m on the run, but I’d love your feedback too in comments. Thanks for stopping by!

Notes from presentation

RSS for Business
Notes for presentation by Marshall Kirkpatrick, tech blogger and consultant. For more information see and my daily posts at

Thanks for attending this session!

basic idea: bring the world to you by RSS, push out your contribution of things back out by RSS and make enough points of contact with the web at large that you can start to gain traction.

What does a feed reader look like?

– NNW (NetNewsWire – see also FeedDemon for Windows desktop feed reader.)
-Google Reader
– zaptxt
– sidebar of marshallk,
– mobile, m.netvibes

Why a biz wants to publish a feed:

– don’t ask people to come back to your site to check for new information – they won’t.
– RSS turns visitors into stakeholders into informed spokespeople
– Email is good but RSS is where an increasing number of tech savvy people want their web updates.
– Info available in RSS is easy to mashup and work magic with – see the rest of this presentation for examples.

Why a biz wants to read feeds –

– Know the market landscape without visiting sites
– Search automatically
– Identify new people, resources and opportunities
– First movers’ advantage

Information oveload and feeds

– It’s not like email – you don’t have to read it all
– If you don’t subscribe there’s much lower chance you’ll see it
– You can filter or delegate but the ultimate filter is your own eyes and mind.

Building yourself a reading list

– top blogs in your niche
how to identifying them – see post at

(aside: build a Google custom search engine with these top reference sites/blogs while you’re at it)

– vendor blogs, press releases

– search feeds
* for blogs, yahoo and/or topix for news, for web if you like, terraminds for twitter
* try searching for your org name, link to your site, top exec names, competitors names, key terms?

– tag feeds?

Advanced stuff filter for popularity
– for combining, filtering

-email newsletters to feeds

– scraped feeds:, feedfire, feedyes
– rss to im/sms
– feeddigest, magpie RSS for posting

Download the original attachment

Book Proposal from Marshall Kirkpatrick

1. About the author(s)

Edited out here for modesty, but check this blog’s About page if you’re unfamiliar with my work.

2. Proposal summary

“RSS for Power Users” would be a book about using RSS and related web applications to gain competitive advantage as a knowledge worker in any field that intersects with media and the internet.

3. Book description

The book will teach readers how to gain first-mover’s advantage in an information-based workplace. It will illustrate how to use RSS for rapid and automatic identification of market opportunities both pro-active and reactive. Feed readers, feed scraping/splicing and filtering and various tools to increase your information capacity with less time invested. Best practices for feed publishing will also be included. Readers need this information because all markets are growing more dependent on information, faster paced and more competitive.

4. Competing or comparable books

There are technical books available for programming with RSS and related syndication protocols but this book will be for the power end-user. Most power-users today have to learn through their own experience alone or through tutorial blog posts like those I write and that are very well received.

5. Readers/Market

RSS is a pretty fundamental technology and is thus of wide, general interest. Marcom practitioners, lawyers, journalists, consultants and academics are particularly interested in taking the leap from elementary to advanced use of RSS. Advanced use of RSS is an accessible way that anyone interested in leadership, personal advancement or self-preservation in an information economy can change their daily routine to get a better handle on the torrent of info available online.

6. Book size and illustrations

Please estimate:

a. The number of published pages to within a 50-page range

I’m guessing 250 pages.

b. The number of figures (line drawings + screen shots)

I’m going to guess 75.

7. Tentative table of contents with annotations

Background: To get an idea of the details included in the following TOC see these blog posts.

-Open Sourcing my TechCrunch Workflow

My post about how I use a variety of feed readers to break industry news. (shortcut via )

-How to find the weirdest stuff on the internet

My post about systematically discovering the top sources in any niche and filtering those sources for the most popular items in them. ( )

– The Glory, Bliss and How-to of Screen Scraping for RSS

A post about creating feeds from pages that don’t offer them.

– Social Media for Marketing: What We’ve Done at SplashCast So Far

A post about using RSS reading and publishing for marketing purposes.

– Teaching RSS: A Discussion

A post about how I taught people about RSS two years ago, much of it still useful today.

Proposed TOC

I. A Brief History of RSS
[High level history and explanation of the basics just so that power users have it as a foundation.]

II. Power RSS – the Big Picture
[How to deal with information overload the Power RSS way, what first mover’s advantage looks like and a discussion of why RSS is so useful in so many different ways.]
a. The paradigm of power RSS (it aint like email, etc.)
b. The need for speed – first mover’s advantage in the context of RSS
c. The pliability of RSS

III. Discovering the Best Feeds
[Half of the story is building your reading list. There are clear technical steps that can make this far more effective than accidental discovery of sources.]
a. The diversity of sources
b. Systematized source discovery
c. Scraping, filtering and splicing feeds
d. OPML and feed sharing

IV. Making the Most of the Feeds You Find
[This is the day-to-day of integrating feed reading into your work.]
a. Picking a feed reading suite
1. Start pages
2. Full readers
3. Mobile
4. Real time alerts
b. Acting on the items delivered
1. New media/online actions
2. Leveraging RSS in the context of traditional media
c. Staying a step ahead
1. Maintenance
2. Forecasting

IV. Advanced Feed Publishing
[Whether you’re an individual or an organization, there are some important steps to take to optimize the impact of the feeds you publish.]
a. Full feed publishing
1. Best practices
2. Analytics
3. Advertising
b. Tag feeds
c. Other feeds

V. The Future of RSS
[Forecasting what possibilities could come next based on the bleeding edge today.]
a. Semantic web
b. Machines and feeds
c. Invisible feeds – RSS “under the covers”


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