Moving to More Efficient, Focused Information

Over the past 10 years, we’ve all benefited from the speed at which knowledge can be attained using the web and search engines to rapidly find things.
One of the fairly recent innovations has been really simple syndication (RSS) technology, which provides us a way to subscribe to information to have it come to us, rather than the mode of seeking and finding.
An October Yahoo! study indicates that the adoption rate is still quite low:

Awareness of RSS is quite low among Internet users. 12% of users are aware of RSS, and 4% have knowingly used RSS.

I’ve been using it for over a year and it’s amazing what I can learn about process automation, the key industries we serve, and even what other automation suppliers are up to. This RSS communications seems too valuable to keep such a secret.
One of the things limiting adoption is that the Internet Explorer browser does not deal well with the cryptic XML looking code that is RSS. Anyone who has clicked on the little orange XML, RSS buttons sprouting all over the web see this gibberish looking code. This will change when Microsoft releases Vista and the next version of Office, but for now it takes some doing to use RSS.
In the spirit of helping process manufacturing professionals see the value that we see with RSS, we have just published an RSS Starter Kit.
The RSS Starter Kit gives you a quick what, why, and how to give it a try.
I even narrated a demo to show how you could be up and going in 2 minutes with a number of feeds about our industry, hot topics, and even a couple of fun feeds. I believe you’ll find the time investment worth it. Give it a try!
Also be sure to check out how you can get a customized feed from Emerson Process Management based upon your preferences. With your RSS reader already in place, it’s easy to add.
UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Steve Rubel‘s, Gary Mintchell‘s and Toby Bloomberg‘s blogs!
There was a thoughtful critique on the MoonWatcher blog of the customized RSS implementation on the Emerson Process Management site. I had a chance to catch up with Emerson Process Management’s Global Director of Marketing Communications, Bill Morrison. His team put this together for all the the divisions within Emerson Process Management.
Bill sees the model followed closely resembling Apple iTunes where folks can state their preferences and receive targeted information based on these preferences. Meaning, you are subscribing to the same individual RSS feeds, but Emerson pre-aggregates the information into one channel…instead of requiring you to set up a different news feed for every Emerson subject of interest.
Folks can still subscribe to individual feeds on some of the sites, much like the DeltaV News RSS feed.
I think it’s more a matter of preference. Some folks would like a bunch of orange buttons to choose from (like this New York Times example) or some would like their feed aggregated, as ones like iTunes, FeedShake, and Gada.be.
What do you think?

Posted Friday, March 31st, 2006 under Miscellaneous.