It was great to see so many partners from the Indiana Tourism industry at this year’s Hoosier Hospitality Conference (@HoosierHospConf on Twitter) at the Crowne Plaza in Indianapolis this week. In addition to some great panelists (@Doug Karr of Compendium Blogware, @Kyle Lacy of Brandswag, @Paula Werne of Holiday World, @John Palmer of MediaSauce, Santhana Naidu of Williams Randall Marketing and Jeff Robinson of the ICVA, just to name a few), there were some great topics discussed. Among those topics, RSS was only briefly touched. I had a few people make comments to me about being interested in RSS, but not quite understanding it. If you’re interested in reading my first post about RSS, please check it out.
The people at CommonCraft have created a wonderful video series called “…in plain english” (check out their channel on YouTube) where they give you a quick and easy to understand description of lots of different types of technology, from Twitter to blogs, from social media to wikis, even from web search strategies to electing a US President. Below, I’ve included their “RSS in plain English” video. It gives a great, simple description of what RSS is and how to use it.
So now you understand what RSS is, and how it can help you to stay up-to-date on websites and blogs that you want to follow, but who should you follow first? The Tourism Tech Corner, of course! Use this RSS link to subscribe to the Tourism Tech Corner in your new RSS reader (I recommend Google Reader). While you’re at it, you should probably subscribe to the new Visit Indiana Blog too (RSS link here).
Now that you’ve set up your RSS reader and you have started following some blogs, it’s time to begin subscribing to your favorite websites or blogs. If you’re using Firefox as your web browser (which I recommend), they make subscribing to RSS feeds REALLY easy. Look at the image on the right. I’ve boxed the RSS feed icons in yellow. Firefox actually scans the websites to see if there is a feed to subscribe to and if there is, Firefox will place the feed icon in the address bar. Simply click on the RSS icon and you’ll be able to subscribe to the site.
In a later post, I’ll talk about how to set up your website so others can subscribe to your RSS feed, but the basics of RSS are here and it can save a tremendous amount of time as you let the information come to you, rather than spending the time to go find the information you want.