Thursday, December 22, 2011

What is RSS and Easy Ways To Use It

RSS to Email - A "How To" Article from Baer Marketing

Like many small business people, you might feel overwhelmed with the deluge of information coming at you from all sides; twitter, facebook, blogs, trade publications, videos, websites, etc. So how do you keep up with the best sources of information pertinent to your company?

Have you ever seen this image on a web page or a blog? This is an "RSS" image, which stands for "really simple syndication." RSS is very common, but usually not so simple for the majority of small business people who don't know what it is or how it works. But it is a great way to get  pertinent information from your favorite sources on a regular basis.

If you've ever heard about "feeds" from a site or blog, they're talking about RSS or Atom, another popular feed system. Most blogs and many web pages allow you to subscribe to updates; to subscribe to their "feed." Some sites allow you to subscribe by email. But most sites don't have that simple option.  And that is where RSS comes in.

There are lots of RSS readers, sometimes called "news aggregators" such as Google Reader, FeedDemon, NewsGator, Bloglines, and many, many more. Some are web based and require signup and then sign-in whenever you want to read your feeds. Some are Windows based and require downloading and installation. You can also get RSS feeds in some email clients like Outlook (plugins) and ThunderBird.

But one of the easiest ways to get your information via RSS feeds is via a service called FeedMyInbox. If you're just subscribing to a few feeds,  FeedMyInbox  is a great option. First of all, it's FREE for up to five feeds. You don't even need to signup. All you have to do is enter the Feed URL and your email address. That's all! After doing that, the updates magically show up in your regular email inbox.

But now you might ask... "what is a Feed URL"?  It's really pretty easy. When you see an RSS image on a web page or blog where you want to keep up with their updates, just right click it and select "Copy Link Location". Then paste that link location into the Feed URL area on  FeedMyInbox. Then enter your email address, click "submit" and you're done.

A few other similar services include FeedMailer and Reblinks. And a google search for "rss to email" will likely yield many more similar services. But so far, FeedMyInbox seems to be the easiest RSS to Email service I've found.

by Brian Baer,
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