Is your Web content gregarious?Posted by Bob Brin on December 12, 2005 at December 12, 2005 12:10 PM
Back when I worked at a software company, the developers used to refer to “promiscuous code.” That meant the software code was very friendly with other programs. I like to think of content in a similar way, but let’s call it “gregarious.”
Ask your PR team or Web folks what they’re doing to make your Web content more gregarious toward search engines, blogs, news publications and others who would possibly spread the word-of-mouse about your company’s products, ideas and knowledge.
In addition to search engine optimization, one of the best ways to make your news, articles and other ideas more outgoing is by using a “feed.”
Public relations people understand news feeds: PRNewswire and BusinessWire feed their press releases to reporters who “subscribe” to the content and then pick and choose what releases they’re interested in using. Yet few of us are using the do-it-yourself feed technology that has grown up alongside blogs. Technologies like RSS and Atom allow bloggers, reporters and others to receive your content right from your blog, online newsroom or knowledge center, and plug it into their articles and entries.
This blog, for example, has a feed (see the RSS icon at the bottom of the home page). That way, someone with a blog reader (like Bloglines) can simply enter our URL into their blog reader and get our content delivered to them, without the risk of spam. (We also let people sign up in e-mail, if that’s their preferred method of delivery.)
Is it worth the effort? Considering the time and effort it takes to develop the content, you will want to leverage it for everything you can. Also, as IT folks continue to turn down the screws on what can get through their e-mail system, even those who have subscribed to your e-mail newsletter may not be receiving it. Adding a feed to your site takes a bit of coding, but it’s relatively straight forward and there are even authoring tools out there that make it doable for the Dreamweaver-dependent crowd.
Gregarious Web sites that radiate their content to the world will become the norm. We suggest getting into it now to stay a step ahead of your competition.
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