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RSS for Small Businesses

RSS feeds are getting a lot more attention among businesses large and small.

The number of people using RSS newsreaders is still tiny. MarketingSherpa estimates a mere 250,000 people [1] using them (although that sounds like a lowball estimate to me). But more and more businesses are experimenting with RSS as a way to communicate with customers and business partners.

Most people familiar with weblogs know what an RSS feed is. It’s a way to syndicate content electronically. But just in case you happen to be new to RSS feeds, check out our handy-dandy RSS newsfeed information sheet here for background information. Or if you really want to delve into the subject, Lockergnome has extensive information on RSS.

It’s interesting to consider the possibilities for using RSS in business. BlogBusinessWorld commented last week on using blogs as a replacement for email newsletters, and Commoncraft extended the discussion by pointing out that it is actually blogs and RSS feeds that could replace newsletters [2].

The technology for RSS is rapidly evolving. For instance, RSS made a big buzz at the DEMO 2004 conference [3] this week.

This is a key trend in the online world that could revolutionize the way content is accessed across the Internet. Although use of RSS feeds by small businesses is still limited, we expect to see the use of RSS feeds grow among businesses in much the same way weblogs are fast being adopted by businesses and becoming mainstream. In fact, RSS and weblogs go hand in hand.