Greater Efficiency through RSS and Blogs

by | Jul 28, 2006 | Miscellaneous

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

I’m presenting a paper at our customer user group meeting, Emerson Exchange this fall. The presentation, Finding What You Need Faster via RSS and Blogs, will describe and demonstrate how reading RSS feeds, RSS search feeds, and blogs, helps me better understand what’s happing in automation and technology faster than I ever could by going out and visiting websites.

The premise is that this subscription-based method of collecting information flips the model around. Instead of going and seeking, I subscribe to what interests me, and new content comes to me for me to read (or listen in the case of podcasts) when I have the time to read (or listen to) it. Often this is on the weekend or when I’m sitting on an airplane.

In an earlier post, I cited a Yahoo study that said RSS adoption is quite low. I believed then and still do believe this due to the fact that most of us use Internet Explorer as our web browser. When we click on the little orange buttons we see cryptic XML code… hardly something that would appear to be useful in any way.

Our attempt to help people with the current hurdles of RSS adoption is the RSS Starter Kit. Or you may be a Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc. web browser user and have no issues at all.

If you’re a Microsoft user, these hurdles go away when Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook 2007 become available where RSS is native in the applications. No more cryptic XML-gibberish displayed. In preparation for the Emerson Exchange presentation, and to get a better feeling for Microsoft’s implementation, I’ve been running Microsoft Office 2007 beta and Internet Explorer version 7 beta. In fact this blog post is being written in Word 2007 which has added a blog post template which connects to the blog server software running http://www.EmersonProcessXperts.com. Microsoft has done a nice job in integration, where I can subscribe in the Internet Explorer and the RSS Feed is also added to my Outlook RSS Subscriptions folder where I can read the information offline, much like I can with emails. Once these products hit the mainstream, I think more people will see the benefits of the subscription model where their content of interest finds them to better do what they need to do.

If you’re planning on attending the Emerson Exchange, please do consider visiting my presentation. For those of you with blogs, bring your PCs or PDAs and live blog it, so I can get feedback on how to improve in future sessions. Also, if you have any examples of how you’re using RSS/RSS searches/blogs to your advantage add a comment or send me an email.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.