Feed me

RSS Feeds are a common featue for informational web sites nowadays. Every news, blog or review site has a feed you can subscribe to, but not every feed is fed the same way.

Feeds are often viewed as an update notification which only contain a header or the first few lines of an article. This is a good usage of the technique if you want to lure readers to your website. When you are using a RSS reader however this is very impractical. The RSS reader is meant to aggregate information into a single interface. But when you are only given headers and links, you'll still have to switch interfaces, i.e. visit the particular web sites, to get the information you want.

But what if you would feed full articles of superior content? People would be able to able to comfortably read your content, your ideas, in their interface of choice and in time they would start to recognize you for your expertise. They might even visit your web site, to read more on the subject. Or better yet, they might link to your web site and point others in your direction.

This is what Seth Godin has done in the field of marketing.

The key is that you give the reader the choice. The choice about what they want to read and how they want to read it. If that is on a Nokia mobile phone using Google Reader, instead of Internet Explorer using your flashy web site, then let them. If the content is of consistent quality, they will eventually come to you.