What is an RSS Feed and why should I care if RealEstateShows.com now has them?
Since we announced that your public Shows would be available via RSS Feed, as a full list or by category, this has become a common question to our customer service department. Several clients called in wondering what they were and others wondered how they could be used. This is an attempt to answer that question, though I’m sure it may raise more questions in the process. 🙂
What is an RSS Feed?
Back in May I wrote a post called, Ever Wonder How Oprah Would Describe An RSS Feed. There I pointed to Stephanie Quilao, who I think explained RSS in the simplest way possible in her post, How To Explain RSS The Oprah Way. For a great understanding of how RSS Feeds work, go give her post a read. (Click Here) It will give you a good grasp of the technology and how to use it..
How would I use RSS Feeds on RealEstateShows.com?
In short, an RSS Feed allows you to push information out to the Internet in a way that others can get to it easily. It “syndicates” content so it can be shared easily. Your goal is to get information into the hands of the most people, in the simplest way possible. That’s what RSS will do.
The most common way to access RSS Feeds is via a Feed Reader. I like Google Reader, personally. Attach the link to your Shows feed to your email signature, so your clients can subscribe and be notified each time you make a Show public. Put a link to your Shows feed on your website and anyone interested will be updated as well.
We see the feeds as a way for you to get more bang out of your RealEstateShows.com subscription. Many of you are now using blogs to market to your area. We decided to distribute via RSS, rather than a closed widget system, so you could use any RSS widget you wish. Widgetbox is a great source. Pulling your Active Listing Shows or your Neighborhood Shows into the sidebar of your blog will give them more exposure. Plugins also exist to automatically write blog posts based on an RSS feed – like Wp-O-Matic. This is a plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs. So, that means each time you made a Show public, your blog could be updated and a post automatically written based on the content in your Show. Does this apply to all of our clients? Certainly not, but those who can use this will have a big advantage.
“Syndicate Your Real Estate Listings With RealEstateShows.com” – I Still Don’t Get It.
That’s understandable. Even though RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, it’s not all that simple to understand! Luckily, the RSS Feeds are also being used by our new Flyer distribution system coming on August 21. So you’ll still get the benefit of distributing your listings if you simply use that new feature for your listings. All you’ll really need to know how to do is click a few buttons and we’ll take care of the rest.
When we release the feature, we’ll be writing more specifically about how to use it and give you specific ideas and examples to learn from. There will also be how-to videos. Right now, we are feverishly working on making sure it does exactly what it is supposed to do. And we’re excited about the possibilities.