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Issue Date: October 2004

The hottest content strategy out there

October 2004
Sally Falkow

If you have been noticing the proliferation of those little orange buttons appearing all over websites, you have probably been wondering what they are and what they do. They facilitate the hot new content strategy called syndication.

And to clear up some of the confusion on the subject, here are some definitions: 'Syndication' is a process of providing your content to others, doing updates of information and generally spreading your content from one place to another. One example you may be familiar with, is syndication in newspapers. You sometimes see a column that appears in several papers at once. It is syndicated.
Online syndication has many advantages:
* It vastly improves your site's visibility.

* Makes your content available in a more convenient manner.

* Feeds your content directly to interested parties.

* Broadens your reach on the Internet.

* You are constantly in front of your audience.

* Drives traffic to your site.

* Increases brand awareness.

* Increases links, which positively affects search ranking.
Other definitions are:
* RSS/XML/Atom are the technologies that make syndication possible.

* RSS is Real Simple Syndication

* Atom is another name for a syndication feed.

* XML is Extensible MarkUp Language - the underlying technology both RSS and Atom are built on.
Syndication uses RSS to set up automated updates, distribution of news items and information from your favourite websites. It is a great time saver - people are very busy, their e-mail is overloaded... They may not remember to visit your site, even though they bookmarked it.
Syndication can also be used to send out info, press releases and articles to interested journalists or websites that may want to use your content and link back to you. It is also a way to update prospective clients on your latest news.
If you write newsletters or articles, have product updates and specials, an RSS feed is a hot content strategy.
All your audience needs to get your feeds is a news reader or aggregator
'A news reader', or 'aggregator' is a program or a website that automatically checks your list of bookmarked sites (which you only have to set up once) and lets you know what is new on each site in your list.
So the next time you see one of these little orange buttons, you will know you are on the site of a savvy web marketer who is ahead of the pack. If you like their content, subscribe to the RSS feed.
And if you want stellar results from your website, use RSS feeds to syndicate your own content.
Source: Sally Falkow
Brand Strategist
Pasadena, California

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