Understanding RSS from the non-tech view

A friend in the UK asked me for some thoughts and info about RSS and how she could create and syndicate her company’s own RSS feeds for things like press releases and product information.

She wanted a non-technical view, something she could easily understand herself so that she’d be able to have a sensible discussion with her IT colleagues where her focus is on the communication, not the technology.

How to use it, in other words, rather than how it works.

There is a lot of information out there about RSS. Much of it is not easy to grasp clearly if you’re not technically inclined or even interested. But I did locate some good resources (some I’ve written about in this blog before) that I think she’ll find helpful.

So the resource links I emailed her were these:

  • CNET’s RSS: News you choose including excellent video tutorial. Published in July.
  • Another one from CNET: Three ways RSS can make your Web life better, an ‘easy as 1-2-3’ guide produced by Chris Pirillo. Published in October.
  • Michael Fagan’s All About RSS. Easy to understand detailed page about what RSS is, what you can do with it and how to find RSS feeds. Last updated in February.
  • Ray Matthews’ RSS Workshop: Publish and Syndicate Your News to the Web. Comprehensive tutorial that takes you through a detailed process to create your RSS feed. Probably more info than the non-tech person would look for, but it’s pretty good. Links to lots of examples and demos. Can’t tell when it was last updated but it looks as if it was sometime earlier this year.

I also mentioned Nooked, an RSS publishing service for corporate communications (see the excellent interview with Fergus Burns, CEO of Nooked, by Guillaume du Gardier last month).

Enough to get started with, I think. Did I miss anything?

5 thoughts on “Understanding RSS from the non-tech view

  1. Thanks Darren. The Business Week story is a good one.
    Re the Nooked white paper, I’d forgotton about that. Fergus sent me a copy some while ago. Nicely done!
    By the way, the link produced a server error message when I clicked it. So I went to the home page, clicked on the whitepaper link (same link) which took me to the registration screen to regsiter for access to the whitepaper.

  2. Personally relevant technology

    I don’t think most bloggers know what the hell RSS is or what “Syndicate this site” means. I know I didn’t, not for a long while after I started blogging – I didn’t think it mattered to me, as long…

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