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RSS and Blogs - The New World of Conversation

December 14, 2005

Over the past year or so, RSS and RSS news feeds have really started to play a prominent role in how Internet users access informatino online. While RSS/XML have been around for awhile now, it's only just recently they have begun to catch on with the general public. I believe this is due in part to the advertising potential marketers and businesses see with RSS feed advertising. But of course, there would not be a potential without some sort of general public following. Whatever the case, more and more people are starting to author their own blogs and generate their own RSS feeds which are, in turn, aggregated and read by those interested.

Definition of a Blog

A blog is an information dissemination website created by opinions. While maybe not exactly consistent with other definitions of a blog floating around, I believe this definition says it all. A blog isn't necessarily a diary of personal thoughts and feelings, rather it is a "diary" of personal thoughts and opinions directed towards a specific subject. The appeal of blogs is that everyone feels like an authority on whatever they are "blogging" about. Not only that, but your opinions become available to the general public who can then, in turn, give their opinion on the subject. Blogs are great because anyone can (at least in their own mind) be an expert on any given subject.

How RSS Comes Into Play

So, now that you have a blog and you're instantly an expert on all sorts of subjects, it's now time to get your ideas and opinions "out there", there being the Internet. RSS news feed syndication allows you to broadcast your headlines to anyone willing to pick up the RSS feed. RSS feeds are a novel way of wading through the massive content on the Internet. Part email, part "favorites" list, part news ticker, RSS feeds are selective subscriptions. RSS feeds are great because it allows publishers to alert people of new content, and they allow the general public to keep up with the current "headlines" about any given subject.

RSS & Blogs: A Natural Fit

It becomes obvious how blogs and RSS feeds work in tandem to create a kind of "global conversation". Someone writes an article about a particular subject, syndicates an RSS feed, someone picks up the headline, and can then post their own opinions on their blog, and then syndicate an RSS feed. The process starts to snowball and soon people are reading opinions, posting opinions, and responding to opinions.

So, if you know of a topic of interest, do a search to find blogs on that topic and subscribe to the site's RSS feed (if they syndicate) and start immersing yourself in the most up-to-date ideas and opinions.

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