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February 14, 2006

Aggregated and Filtered Content Is King

Let's face it, no matter what your business card says, you are probably in the information business.


Want verification of this from a Pulitzer Prize winning author? Go pick up a copy of Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat. It's a big book, but by page 45 or so you will come to understand that only those who can make information more valuable will survive.

Just a few years ago the rallying cry on the web was - content is king. Not so much anymore. I can find a person with a reasonable command of the English language to crank out 50, web page length articles in a week, for about $100. And, Google's AdSense program has incentivized all the Internet marketers to create this kind of content for ad revenue sake.

The crush of content that the average person has to consume is out of control.

So, the answer? Find, create, enhance, package and distribute content - aggregate it, filter it and make it more useful. That's your job.

And for that job, RSS, and the various tools lumped into the RSS bucket provide the power.

For the self-proclaimed computer geek, the RSS tools and open APIs are an unlocked candy store. But, you know that already.

For the average small business guy or gal, the ease of implementing these once foreign applications makes using RSS beyond blog posts a simple proposition.

Here are some ways companies are using the automatic distribution features of RSS

  • Keep customers informed about their company, products, services and promotions

  • Update employees and associates about company matters and events

  • Aggregate and publish news headlines and stories of interest to clients

  • Collect and filter sales intelligence

  • Send daily communication to salespersons

  • Track changes to real estate and auction listings

  • Publish news and news releases to various web pages

  • Advertise job opening

  • Recommed and update books from Amazon

  • Republish FAQs and support forum headlines

  • Promote random sales and special offerings

  • Provide product or service updates to buyers and owners

  • Create and send training programs to employees

  • Publish calendars or events and company happenings

  • Research competition and competitive keywords

  • Send daily tips and other marketing communications

Your job is to learn about this tool and then take what your learn and find creative ways to apply it in order to make the information that your provide, the content you provide, more valuable.

Here is a list of sites to help you get started on the "uses for RSS: journey (The list below is a BlinkList - a  tool you may find useful in your information business)

February 14, 2006 in RSS | Permalink

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Comments

Great post. I do want to suggest one thing however, related to the following:

"I can find a person with a reasonable command of the English language to crank out 50, web page length articles in a week, for about $100."

Yes, you certainly can find the above. While the language around the content will certainly be readable and perhaps compelling, how strong will the ideas behind it be?

Your site is so good, I believe, because of what you think and the value of those ideas to the audience. All your points on distribution are strong, and I agree with them. In fact, I'm learning a lot about this following your blog and others.

I just want to come to the defense of content a bit. For an example of poor content and strong distribution, just watch the network evening news.

Posted by: Farrell Kramer | Feb 14, 2006 9:27:43 AM

I read your post. Very interesting! I just want to let you know about a content syndication solution that might be of great interest to your readers. The service is called Stepwebz.com (http://www.stepwebz.com) and it helps websites syndicate and monetize their RSS feeds. Using StepWebZ websites can provide their visitors with all the tools they need to republish their RSS feeds on their own site or blog and also earn money.
Regards
Rodolp S

Posted by: Rodolp s | Feb 19, 2006 10:33:33 AM

As you point out in your blog post it is not the volume of content that will win over readers rather the quality of the content...However the crush of content is a very real issue.

A book worth reading is "The Attention Economy" authored by two Accenture consultants which notes that the scarcest resource is no longer ideas or talent but attention itself.

With the constant amount of incoming information across multiple mediums it is the quality of information and not the quantity of information that matters.

Posted by: Mike Myatt | Jul 6, 2006 10:42:08 PM

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