Thursday, January 11, 2007

RSS Feed Readers can save you time and give you a competitive edge....and attribute revenue to your bottom line

Yesterday i walked another one of my co-workers through getting a RSS reader and subscribing to RSS feeds from blogs, wikis , web sites and some of the subscription services we have available to track our customers and industry. i recommended Google Reader- because it is easy to use for a first time user and its recent enhancements have impressed me enough to make it my primary RSS reading tool.

I use multiple tools to consume my RSS feeds (i have over 150 feeds i monitor regulary and i use OPML to move my subscriptions around different services) including:

-Google Reader - browser based - allows me to check my feeds from my multiple computers - since everything is stored at google i can see which feeds i have read, i can subscribe to feeds from multiple places etc. I typically 'know' which feeds i am going to look at- they are doing some neat things with usage trends and i can view my feed within the folders i have or all items.

-Bloglines- i have used this reader for a while and haven't dropped it completely with my use of Google Reader- it is also browser based and i still use the mobile version on my Blackberry

-Internet Explorer IE7 RSS reader- of course i couldn't resist when i upgraded to IE7 but it honestly has not kept my interest. (and i find it super annoying when i click on an RSS feed and IE automatically tried to subscribe to it in the IE7 reader)

-Attensa in Outlook (commercial version) (i have a customer who is in pilot phase (enterprise version) and i have been testing along although i recently uninstalled it as it was slowing down my outlook). Aside from being in outlook which is a natural place for the enterprise user they are also providing some valuable display options for feeds that you use most often.

-Touchtone - Attention Management desktop engine in Alpha- i have a few 'important' feeds and it has presented positive results in getting my attention. It will hopefully be great once the next version comes out because unlike the readers i mention above- i don't need to know what feed i should read- it will tell me what i should be looking at [if you are interested in testing this service let me know i have a couple alpha invites available]

-Sharepoint RSS WebParts - i maintain multiple team sites and have specific feeds into those sites that i share with co-workers.

Today in my feed i saw this article by Robin Good from Master New Media, on "Why RSS Newsfeed Aggregation Can Save You Time and Money". In this piece he provides some simple tips including creating searches across multiple blog sites or using aggregation sites.
One of the questions he answers is:

Can you share your total time savings and earnings generated by having adopted RSS?
This is a difficult question to answer, as making reliable and publishable calculations is always a source of debate. But, since there is no gain or understanding unless we share a bit more of what we know, here are the numbers and unpretending calculations I gave Kathleen:

Time Savings: Two hours per day at $50 an hour for at least two consecutive years = 50 x 2 x 6 (workdays a week) = $600 x 52 (weeks in a year) = $ 31,200 x 2 (years) = $62,400, or 1,152 saved hours (144 days!) of my time.

Earnings: Since I only utilize RSS in a very limited way for direct revenue, it is much more difficult to calculate this one.

Yes- calculating how much revenue a employee can attribute to their use of blogs (both consuming and publishing) would be a very interesting thing to look at. I have posted before about my use of blogs in my sales cycles and can certainly attribute finding opportunities to reading specific blog posts.


Chris said...

Thanks for the mention Daniela... I think you will find the next build of Touchstone even more useful... stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

I actually use Newsgator's Feeddemon offline and newsgator online. I am also planning to use newsgator mobile going forward after my recent blackberry upgrade.

The only other feed tool I use is Dapper to create my own custom feeds.

I am try to find a dapper/scrapping tool that can update more often with the ease of Dapper.