5 Ways to Entice Your Parallel Market to Trade Lin

5 Ways to Entice Your Parallel Market to Trade Links

by: Tinu AbayomiPaul

Lots of people get confounded when attempting to exchange links, you’re not alone. The people who have the spot you want are competitors. The people who don’t aren’t worth exchanging links with. What to do?

Itกs not necessarily the method you’re using, it may be the approach.

If you know anything about SEO, you know you need relevant links to your site, preferably more in than you have out. And whether you actively pursue search engine listings or not, you’ll find that many surfers travel the web through the links they find, often without realizing it.

So how do you achieve this without linking to the sites you are competing with?

Think Parallel Markets.

When most people think of this term, they are speaking from an investment standpoint. In this discussion, Iกm simply referring to groups of products and services which cater to people with similiar needs.

If your market is delivery or carryout pizza, your market is fast food. But your parallel market might be frozen pizzas, Italian food store chains, or cheese, maybe even films.

Pizza delivery chains offer free DVDs with a delivery order because they figure that people who eat pizza at home watch films while they eat ordering in and watching a movie is (sadly) the new third date.

To discover your parallel market, think of things that your customers have in common that brings them to your site, then eliminate things that compete.

So now you know *who* to ask to link to you. But *how* do you get them to link back?

Especially as a new webmaster, it helps if you think from the opposing end of your desires.

Meaning that, before you ask for something, think of what you can give in return. What are the other personกs needs? If you don’t know, you can probably find out by subscribing to their newsletter or feed.

That way, when you write to them, instead of sending the standard cookiecutter email, you can add personalized information that lets them know that you have been to their site repeatedly, list specific issues they have stated before, and use this information to make it worth their while.

Which email would you answer? The one that is obviously a copy, personalized only with your email address? Or the one that states your name and shows that the other person has actually been to your site before?

So take a look at your site. Why should anyone link to you? What will they get out of the deal? Is your site a great resource? Do you have a higher Google PR? Do you do site reviews? Or maybe you’ll just use whatever text they ask for?

When you first start out, with no links back to your site, find other people in your parallel markets who need links too. You’re both in the same boat. Help each other.

Then as you see your traffic rising, you can start going after bigger and bigger fish. But again, make it worth their while.

Here are some ways in which you can make a link trade a little more attractive.

Method One: The Recommendation Exchange

When I know of a site that sells inexpensive tools for new marketers that are ready to advance to the next level, I refer a lot of my more advanced crowd to them, and they send me their beginners.

So in approaching them, I might tell them that not only have I already linked to them, but if they link back I’ll also write about them in my blog and my newsletter. Costs me nothing but an extra five minutes, and I’m more likely to get a little bit more than the link trade.

Method Two: The Bribe

This can also increase your reputation as an expert in your field.

Pick five people who are a bit more knowledgeable than you. Ask them if they’d like to be interviewed, for a collection, and offer to distribute the resulting resource for free to their audience, if they’ll link to your home page, where the free ebook can be downloaded.

Youกve got their link, theyกve got free publicity in a book they can and probably will distribute for you.

Method Three: Use That Feed

There are the sites that want to carry a relevant, frequently updated feed in order to get more search engine visits. So, if you have a feed, you could send that webmaster a link to your feed, and tell them how they can use tools like CARP, RSS Equalizer or RSS Digest to display your feed on their site.

If you update daily, and you’re willing to take the bandwidth hit, you might find that they don’t even mind a one way link.

Method Four: The Barter

Give them a free copy of your book if they’d link to you. Offer to link back to them if they’ll write a testimonial about the book.

Method Five: The Testimonial

This is a slight variation on the recommendation, because it sometimes ends up as more of a oneway trade.

If you sincerely enjoy a service or product that you bought, go back and pull up the sales page. If the links on the page for the testimonials are live, offer your testimonial.

Caution: Only offer testimonials on products you really used and benefitted from. It’s fine to put your name on something controversial if you really believe in it, but if you give a testimonial just for a link back to your site, you’re messing with your good name.

You should also know that they may not use your testimonial on their site, unless it’s really good so and try to be as specific as possible about how their product helped you.

The point is, if you think creatively, you can solve your linking problem.

Copyright 2004 Tinu AbayomiPaul

About The Author

Tinu carries on various internet marketing related discussions in her blog at http://FreeTrafficTip.com.

This article was posted on October 07, 2004

by Tinu AbayomiPaul

Benefits to RSS

Benefits to RSS

by: Sharon Housley

RSS streamlines communication between publishers and readers. Since RSS has had a popularity surge, webmasters have been experimenting and using RSS feeds to deliver content in new and innovative ways. Typically, RSS feeds contain news headlines and content summaries. The content summaries contain just enough information without overwhelming the reader with superfluous details. If the reader is interested and wants additional information they can click on the item in the feed, accessing the website which contains additional details. RSS readers aggregate multiple feeds, making it easy for individuals to quickly scan information contained within each feed. Feeds are generally themed, allowing users to optin to feeds that are of interest.

The big benefit to RSS is that individuals optin to content of interest, totally controlling the flow of information that they receive. If the quality of the content in the feed declines, users simply remove the feed from their RSS reader and they will not receive any additional updates from that source. The RSS reader acts as an aggregator, allowing users to view and scan multiple content streams in a timely fashion.

RSS is a great supplemental communication method that does not burden the publisher with maintaining lists or following strict privacy guidelines. RSS feeds are compiled according to the userกs choices, removing any burden that is placed on publishers of email newsletters. Publishers no longer need to be concerned with spam, privacy policies, and age guidelines.

Publishers using RSS as a communication vehicle are able to create keywordrich, themed content, establishing trust, reputation, and ongoing communication with current and prospective customers.

What Kind of Information Can be Delivered in RSS Feeds?

Blogs Feed

Many blogs are catalogued in an RSS feed, with each blog entry summarized as a feed item. This makes it easy for visitors to scan blog posts for items of interest.

Article Feed

Articles are often placed into feeds to alert readers when new articles and content are available. The feed entry is typically an article summary or introduction. Readers can then ascertain if the article is of interest and read further.

Forum Feed

Many forums now have addons that allow participants to receive forum posts via RSS. The RSS feeds often will show the latest discussion topics; if users are interested they simply click to enter the forum to participate in the discussion. As the topic is updated they will see new entries in the RSS feed.

Schedule Feed

Schools, clubs and organizations will often use feeds to communicate meeting times, places and events that might be occurring. The RSS feeds are often used to publicize events, notify the community of schedule changes or meeting agendas.

Discounts / Specials Feed

Retail and online stores have begun using RSS feeds to deliver their latest specials and discounted offers. Some online retailers have taken this a step further, allowing users to create their own feeds based on keywords or phrases.

For example, this service will generate a URL than can be entered into a news reader. The feed is updated each time an item is added to Amazon that meets the specified criteria or keywords Amazon Search Feed http://www.oxus.net/amazon/

Ego / News Monitoring

Companies or individuals interested in receiving headline news based on a specific brand or keyword can use RSS feeds to monitor news sources.

For example, users can use the following tool to create a feed that will allow them to receive filtered news from Google News. They will only receive items related to a specific keyword or phrase they setup http://www.justinpfister.com/gnewsfeed.php

IndustrySpecific RSS Feed Uses Include:

Technical professionals in specific industries have also developed RSS feeds as way to market, promote or communicate within their specific industries. In many cases, this has expanded their reach and increased communication with current and prospective customers and clients.

RSS feeds can be used by realtors to communicate the time and location for open houses, announce new property listings or promote decreased mortgage rates. Content feeds can also be used by universities to communicate sports scores or event schedules. Computer service professionals can create feeds to notify clients of potential security breaches, virus risks or outbreaks. Ultimately, RSS is molded to meet the communication needs of many sectors. Consider how RSS can benefit your business and supplement your communication needs.

RSS feed creation tool for publishers interested in creating fresh content FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net and FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com.

This article was posted on December 08, 2004

by Sharon Housley

The Copyright Debate and RSS

The Copyright Debate and RSS

by: S. Housley

RSS is commonly defined as really simple syndication. So, this means that any material contained in a feed is available for syndication, right? Well no, not exactly. It means that the content contained in an RSS feed is in a format that is syndication friendly, if the copyright holder allows for syndication. Offering a feed for syndication does not in fact grant any legal rights to anyone to reuse the feeds content beyond what the Copyright laws grant as Fair Use.

In practice, while your feed might legally be protected, you could literally spend weeks attempting to protect the contents of your feed. Legal gray areas are introduced with Search Engines indexing feeds and RSS Feed Directories including copywritten feeds, in their categorized directories. How do you distinguish between a legitimate search engine, RSS directory and someone simply reproducing the contents of a feed for personal gain? Legally how can you defend against one and not the other?

One can ask whether it is legally is it wrong to reproduce content in a feed. Morally is it wrong? Does the site have a purpose or value outside of the syndicated content? Is the aggregation of topic specific feeds in itself a value?

If you use the feeds for content and label the site a directory does that make it any more legal? What about personal web aggregators? If it is for personal use,is it OK?

Take a look at the following topic specific feed directories:

Financial Investing http://www.financeinvesting.com

or

Security Protection http://www.securityprotection.net

One could argue that the above sites do in fact provide value, aggregating and categorizing related topic specific feeds in a single location. In fact those in the security sector of the finance arena might find the above sites of significant value but what of the content creators?

Laws and Technology Collide

Most people publishing content via RSS support republication of feeds. Because the technology is fairly new, the laws and legalities are still murky. It is assumed that content in RSS is protected by copyright laws but let us not forget the Internet is global and their is not a centralized body governing what is right or what is wrong. Not only does law and technology collide the laws of different countries, those creating the feed and those displaying the contents of the feed may contradict each other. It is for this reason, I would advise that publishers using RSS to assume that the contents of their RSS feeds will be syndicated and replicated.

Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Feed.

That is not to say there are not things that can be done to protect feeds. At the end of the day being proactive is the best way to protect intellectual property.

Part of feed protection is ensuring that appropriate credit is given, this can be arranged by including a copyright assignment in the final line of the Item Description field.

Additionally you can include links back to your website in the Item description field.

Use teaser copy in the RSS feedกs Item description field, linking back to your website which contains the full contents of the post.

At the end of the day, protecting the contents of a feed can be daunting and limiting. Controlling your contents to ensure appropriate credit and links are included is critical.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

This article was posted on August 17

by S. Housley

It Really Is Simple RSS

It Really Is Simple RSS

by: Tony Dean

I have กGooglebotก coming to my site every day since a month ago I put up my first news feed, since then I have put up yet another.

I never used to see กGooglebotก much before, so it goes to show that if you want to be noticed by the search engines, you need to put up a กnewsfeedก.

All this resubmitting to search engines every month nonsense is just that, nonesense! I don’t really think the search engines care for you to submit to them in the first place, I think that now they like to find your site on their own. Some pundits have claimed that nowadays to submit your site at all to the search engines is counterproductive and you should not do it. They say that there is much better value in allowing the search engines to find it via a กlinkbackก from somewhere else.

กNews Feedsก are now providing that กlink backก that every site owner needs. If you run a web site and you have still not got a กnews feedก you are being left behind in the race, first to get listed by search engines and secondly to get a higher ranking my sites ranking has gone up very much higher in Yahoo and Google, since putting up my first news feed, and guess what, it was within about 36 hours of putting up that first กnews feedก that Googlebot discovered it was there! It did not take it long! The same with Yahoo, but a little bit later, like two days after Googlebot.

กNews Feedsก are readable in a software called a กNews Readerก, these are usually free to download and use right away to look at some of the feeds that are out there. There are directories for feeds which you can visit and get some addresses of some suitable ones to read each day, some of these feeds are more like กblogsก in that, they change the contents several times a day, which gives a feed a กfresherก feel to it, and which the search engines like to see. They also would like to see web site owners refreshing there web site contents on at least a daily basis, it does help with ranking.

It has been slated that the next incarnations of browser will be กfeedก compatible, they will be reading กnews feedsก as well as viewing web sites. When this does happen the กinformation revolutionก will be really turned full on! Any one, even you, can set up a กnews feedก, it really is simple, and if you don’t set one up, you are going to be like the only person in your street who does not have television or radio, you are going to miss out on the กinformation revolutionก, big time!

About The Author

Tony Dean runs a web site at: http://www.ebooksales.com. He is author of the ebook ‘really Simple RSSก which is downloadable from his web site together with a กfeed readerก

This article was posted on September 29, 2004

by Tony Dean

What the Heck is RSS and How Will it Help Me?

What the Heck is RSS and How Will it Help Me?

by: Rosalind Gardner

RSS, RSS, RSS… you hear the constant chant, but who really knows what the heck RSS means?

Although it originated in 1997, most folks still don’t know how RSS works, and want to know กWhat is RSS?ก and กHow will it help me?ก

I had only a very cursory understanding of RSS until last week, yet when trusted colleagues start telling me that itกs an effective way to get traffic to your site, it was time to learn more.

So what is RSS?

RSS stands for ‘real Simple Sydicationก and is a way for you to publish (or กfeedก) กwhatกs newก information about your site. A single item will typically include a headline, a snippet of content and a link to your site.

Using an RSS feed reader, anyone who has subscribed to your feed, will be notified when you publish new items to your feed.

There are many RSS feed readers, also known as กaggregatorsก, to choose from. I started off with กFeedReaderก, which is a freeware application for Windows.

Get it at:

http://feedreader.com

After trying out a few other readers, Iกve now settled on กFeedDemonก which was written by Nick Bradbury, the creator of TopStyle and HomeSite.

You can get FeedDemon which comes with a 20day freetrial period at:

FeedDemon.com

Hereกs a good list of the readers available:

http://www.2rss.com/readers.php

RSS is published in XML format. All that means is that the extension used is ก.xmlก, without the quotes. So, for example, my new feed is located at:

http://www.netprofitstoday.com/blog/wprss2.php

If you go to that page, without using a reader, youกll see mostly gobbledygook. Look closer and youกll see that the coding starts to make some sense.

Hereกs an example of how a single news กitemก appears on an XML page:

How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight

Not only can you lose a guy in 10 days, you could lose

14,000+ of your subscribers OVERNIGHT. Learn how to avoid making this costly mistake.

http://netprofitstoday.com/_npc/20041214.html#mistake

List Building

Thu, 16 Dec 2004 09:09:07 0800

When you use a feed reader, such as those mentioned above, youกll see the feed in its proper, easytoread format.

To create the XML page, I used กFeed for Allก, an RSS feed creation tool. The กFeed for Allก software also comes with a free trial and is available at: http://feedforall.com/

Hereกs how the item above appears in an RSS reader.

How to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnight

Not only can you lose a guy in 10 days, you could lose 14,000+ of your subscribers OVERNIGHT. Learn how to avoid making this costly mistake.

The title, กHow to Lose 14,000+ List Subscribers Overnightก, is linked to http://netprofitstoday.com/_npc/20041214.html#mistake which readers can click to read the full article.

So far, so good, but how do you get your feed published so people can read it?

There are a huge number of RSS directory sites. At the top of the heap in a Google search, I found Robin Goodกs กRSSTop55 Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sitesก See it at:

http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/

So, in a nutshell, get a reader, and an RSS creation tool. Create your feed and submit it to the directories.

Traffic to your sites will increase and so will your revenues. Real simple (syndication).

This is a cursory overview of how RSS works. I confess that I did a considerable amount of reading to come to that understanding.

Here are the 2 resources I found most useful:

Paul Shortกs ebook is a comprehensive work on everything you wanted to know about RSS and blogging, and probably more.

http://NetProfitsToday.com/rsspaulshort/

Although it won’t give you a กhowtoRSSก explanation, I also found Dr. Maniกs 41 ideas on how to profit using RSS feeds quite valuable.

http://NetProfitsToday.com/rssdrmani/

© Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the bestselling กSuper Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peopleกs Stuff Onlineก. To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

This article was posted on March 30

by Rosalind Gardner

How To Really Make Money With Datafeed Merchants.

How To Really Make Money With Datafeed Merchants.

by: Konstantin Goudkov

I am not going to describe what a product feed (or a datafeed) is. There is a lot of information out there about how to use one to build sites. Instead, I want to talk about how you can actually make more sales with datafeed sites.
The program that I manage offers a product feed, and I get a chance to see a sad picture of many good affiliates wasting their potential.
Here is my advice from the affiliate managerกs perspective.
Whenever you join (or think bout joining) a program, you need to look for two things:

Temporary or permanent opportunities
Flaws of a merchant

Here is an example of an opportunity that was created by an outside factor.
Recently, we got removed from the Yahoo index because of a penalty. I have no idea when (or if) we will get included back in, but I do know that it makes one decision much easier for our affiliates.
Judging by the numerous posts on various SEOrelated message boards, it looks like Google and Yahoo use very different algorithms to rank pages. So for any given site, you have a choice to make. You can optimize for Yahoo, for Google, or for both.
Since Yahoo and Google use different algorithms, it is going to be hard to optimize the same set of pages for both of those engines at the same time, unless you employ heavy cloaking. And the way I see it, for an affiliate, it is better to appear high on one search engine than to appear low on both of them in an attempt to optimize for different algorithms at the same time.
Imagine that you are one of our affiliates. Given the information I just told you, shouldn’t you concentrate on Yahoo for that datafeed site that is being used to promote our products?
Why spend (at least) half of your time and resources on optimizing for Google when you know that we are nowhere to be found in Yahoo?
You have to have an extremely well linked and optimized site to get ahead of the merchant for the exact productname search terms. The merchant is your biggest obstacle when it comes to the search engine traffic. So if there is a route that lets you get around that obstacle take it!
Most of our wellperforming affiliates did just that. Either intentionally or unintentionally, they ended up making much more money by appearing high in Yahoo results, while not being ranked high in Google.
So on a practical side of things, here is what you should do.
For your existing merchants, check if they are removed from the index in any of the major search engines, and if they are, then start reading and implementing SEO tips for that particular engine.
And if you are thinking about joining a program and can’t decide between several merchants, then check if any of them is not in the index of either Yahoo or Google. If you find a merchant like that drop everything else you are doing and jump on that program.
As far as theory goes, this was just a simple, but specific example of what you should look for to make your efforts pay off. There are many different opportunities to get ahead in existing programs with datafeed sites; you just have to look for them.
Now, letกs talk about flaws of merchants and how you can exploit them to make more money and help consumers at the same time.
I will give another specific example, but you should be able to apply this concept to many different programs.
Our site has one huge structural flaw: we only list products by productoriented categories.
In other words, there is no way to navigate our site by a specific occasion or by the purchasing intent of a visitor.
You can follow a path like:
widgets > wooden widgets > red wooden widgets
This setup works fine for some type of shoppers, but is a complete turnoff for others.
And the problem is that most affiliates simply mirror the catalog structure of a merchant according to their feed.
But if you structured your site to list widgets as:

widgets for birthdays
widgets for girlfriends
widgets for those who are over 50
the Independence Day widgets
etc.

then you would attract different type of shoppers. You would no longer compete with the merchant, but instead you would complement them.
A visitor who is looking for a gift for his 50something friend and has no idea that a red wooden widget would be perfect, will not travel down the path laid out by our catalog. So if he gets to our home page, we simply lose a sale. And if your datafeedbased site follows the same structure you lose as sale as well.
Also, since the visitor does not know that he really wants a red wooden widget, he we not use those keywords while searching for a present on the search engines.
But if you attracted that visitor to your site, presented him with ideas for older friendsก birthday gifts and guided him to that specific widgetกs page then we would make a sale, you would make a commission, and the visitor (turned customer) would get his present with much less searching around. Everyone wins.
Such approach takes more work than simply cloning the merchantกs site with a feed, but affiliates who actually do something to complement merchant instead competing with them make a lot more money. After all, if you create a copy of a merchantกs site you are not only competing with the merchant, you are also competing with all of their affiliates that use the same feed in the same way.
Copyright 2004 Konstantin Goudkov
Konstantin Goudkov,

bccnews@genericgifts.com

http://www.GenericGifts.com

2500+ products in a data feed. 20% commission.

5 years cookie expiration.

About The Author

Konstantin Goudkov is an affiliate manager with www.GenericGifts.com. He specializes on visitor tracking, splitrun testing, and discovering ways to increase conversion rates for different presentation / action scenarios.

This article was posted on May 13, 2004

by Konstantin Goudkov

Innovative Business Use of RSS as a Technology

Innovative Business Use of RSS as a Technology

by: S. Housley

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a new way to broadcast corporate news and structured information. RSS offers a quick, easy corporate communication channel. The RSS contents are published as a feed and the feedกs content keep customers, partners and journalists abreast of corporate news and information. The RSS feeds are read using a tool referred to as a news aggregator, or an RSS reader. The aggregator periodically checks to see if the RSS feed has been updated. As the feed is updated, new information will automatically appear in the RSS reader.

While RSS was at one point only considered to be a means to deliver news headlines, RSS has quickly become a powerful medium to disseminate all kinds of information. As traditional marketers are attempting to rein in content delivery, measuring email open rates, clickthroughs and conversions, Internet users are fighting to gain control over the content they receive. Savvy marketers and business owners are using RSS as a way to improve corporate communication and increase their external exposure and brand appeal.

What is the enclosure tag?

RSS 2.0 is quickly becoming the definitive RSS standard, all because of its support for the enclosure tag. The enclosure tag is an optional field in the RSS 2.0 specification that allows the feed publisher to include a link to a file. The file can be just about anything. Businesses have seized the opportunity, including tutorials, streaming audio lectures, PDF proposals, Power Pointâ„¢ presentations, podcasts of sales meetings, and advertising portfolios among other traditional uses for RSS.

Many businesses have yet to realize the potential hidden in the enclosure field. The implications and power of how RSS can be used is really aweinspiring. Consider the following business uses for RSS:

PDF Documents Consider broadcasting meeting agenda notes or documentation as a PDF included with a feed, allowing interested individuals to access information without having to deal with cumbersome email attachments.

PPT Presentations Presentations can easily be distributed in a feed enclosure. The added benefit is that presenters using Power Pointâ„¢ will not have to lug their notebook to a meeting to present they can manage the presentation from an iPod or similar handheld that reads RSS feeds.

Video Video or streaming video are both possible via the enclosure field. Have lectures or even political debates come to life with the added video component.

Audio Audio content does not mean that feeds are limited to your favorite songs. Podcasting is the coined term for audio content contained in a feed and can include language instruction, talk shows or editorials.

Images Imagine realtors using the enclosure field to display photos of homes to interested buyers. Now they can carry a lightweight catalog with them to show potential buyers at a momentกs notice.

Downloads Consider an information technology department in a large corporation conducting proprietary software updates, including executables or zip files in the enclosure field which allow users to update the software at a convenient time.

Feedreaders are playing catch up

RSS news aggregators were initially designed to receive textbased content. As users find outsidethebox uses for RSS, developers of RSS readers are struggling to release new versions that support the enclosures businesses are eager to use.

FeedDemon, a popular RSS reader, has recently added support for every type of enclosure in their latest release. They have created a safe list that can be customized to include specific types of file types like PDFs. This will automate downloads of files that are deemed กsafeก. This was clearly designed with security in mind, to prevent automatic downloading of executables.

Businesses are revolutionizing RSS as a communication medium. While some traditional businesses are struggling to include monthly newsletter summaries in an RSS feed and reap the benefits of RSS, other innovative businesses are adopting incredibly creative uses for both internal and external corporate communications.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

sharon@notepage.net

This article was posted on March 08

by S. Housley

How Podcasting Works

How Podcasting Works

by: Sharon Housley

It has been said that in October of 2004 a Google search returned less than 6,000 results for the term กpodcastingก. Today, a similar search yields more than 857,000 results. Like the blogging phenomenon, podcasting has come out of nowhere and attracted an enthusiastic following.

While some traditional radio talk shows have begun providing podcasts of their regularlyscheduled broadcasts, the bulk of the podcasts that have cropped up tend to be independent broadcasters who have a fascination with technology. As a result, some podcasts are a little rough around the edges. Nonetheless, it is clear that the technology provides a significant opportunity and potential. Even naysayers believe that podcasting is more than a passing fad.

Podcasting is RSS that is used to syndicate and distribute audio files. Podcasting contains an audio file in the RSS feedกs enclosure tag. An enclosure tag is used in RSS feeds to include certain types of files. The file contained in an enclosure tag can be: an image, a data file, a video file, or an audio file. Podcasting specifically refers to RSS feeds that contain audio files in their enclosure tag. The RSS version that currently supports enclosure tags is RSS version 2.0. All podcasts are currently created using this specification.

The benefit to podcasting is the fact that users can sync content with their media player and listen at a time and a place of their choosing: radio on demand. And while this technology is not limited to music, it seems to be the area that has received the most attention.

Podcasting is generally inexpensive to implement. Investment in a good quality microphone will ensure that the recording is audible. Depending on knowledge and experience, some podcasters invest in audio conversion, compression and audio editing software applications. Also, web space bandwith and software to create the feed for the podcast is needed. All in all, the initial expense is relatively small.

Publishing Podcasts

In three simple steps, independent broadcasters can have their voice heard:

Publishers create audio content, posting it on a website for listeners.

Create or edit an existing RSS feed including a link to the audio file in the กenclosureก field of an RSS 2.0 feed, uploading it to a website.

Tell the world that a podcast is available.

Listen to Podcasts:

In three simple steps web surfers can listen to podcasts:

Download a news aggregator or RSS reader that supports podcasting or sync a wireless device like an iPod with your computer.

Enter the URL of the podcast feed into the news aggregator or podcast management software.

As new items appear in the aggregator, review the podcastกs description and listen to those that are of interest.

As popularity increases it is likely many voices will be drowned out, but for now, an independent broadcaster with a microphone and unlimited bandwith can make a name, create an image and change the world.

Useful Tools for Podcasting:

Create podcast feed http://www.feedforall.com

News aggregator supporting podcasts http://www.feeddemon.com or http://www.primetimepodcast.com

See also Podcasting Tools http://www.smallbusinesssoftware.net/podcastingtools.htm

Copyright 2005 Sharon Housley

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

This article was posted on April 13

by Sharon Housley

Using QuickSub To Make It Easier For Your Visitors

Using QuickSub To Make It Easier For Your Visitors To Subscribe To Your Feed

by: Allan Burns

You can make it easier for your visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed. With a free and easy to install javascript function you can add the QuickSub feed button to your webpage in just a few minutes. Let me show you just how easy it is.

QuickSub is a javascript mouseover function that produces a list of RSS feed readers that you can use to subscribe to your RSS news feed with one click. You can see it in action on my RSS resource site, just move the mouse over the subscribe link. You should see a list of RSS feed readers. If you click on one of the news reader links it will open up that RSS reader and add this feed to it. You will need the particular news reader installed on your computer for this to work. So for example if your visitor uses SharpReader as their RSS reader then they would click on the Sharpreader link and this would add your feed to your visitors RSS reader.

To use QuickSub on your site you will first need to download the javascript and CSS files from QuickSubs site. The file is compressed so you will need to unzip the file which will leave you with quicksub.css and quicksub.js as well as a sample html file.

Upload the CSS as javascript file to your server. Now you will need to add some code into your web pages. You will need to do this for all of the pages that you wish to use QuickSub on.

Please note that in these examples I have used square brackets instead of angled brackets.

First you need to copy some code to call the CSS file. Add this line with your head tags.

[style type=’text/cssก] @import กquicksub.cssก; [/style]

Then copy this code into the body of your page.

[div id=กquickSubก style=กposition:absolute; visibility:hidden; zindex:1000;ก onMouseOut=’return timeqs();ก onMouseMove=’return delayqs();ก][/div]

[script language=กJavaScriptก src=กquicksub.jsก][! quickSub (c) Jason Brome ][/script]

Then where you want to use QuickSub place this code in the body of your page.

[a href=กhttp://www.sitename.com/rssfeed.xmlก onmouseout=’return timeqs();ก onmouseover=’return quicksub(this, กhttp://www.sitename.com/rssfeed.xmlก);ก]Your link text here[/a]

You just need to replace the path with the path to you RSS feed and enter you own link text. All is left now is to upload your modified page to your web server and the new QuickSub javascript will be active.

About The Author

Allan is the webmaster at NewsNiche an RSS resource for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.

This article was posted on April 21

by Allan Burns

Googlebot Won’t Go Home

Googlebot Won’t Go Home

by: Tony Dean

I have กGooglebotก crawl my site every day like a dispossessed spirit that can’t leave.

It was not always like this, I would go for a month or more before he came to my site and then would only crawl a few pages and leave again.

This has been going on now for two months or more, Iกve been watching the stats on my server everyday seeing just where he goes. He will crawl a few pages one day, and the next some other pages, and then finally leave until the morrow. After just three or four weeks, I noticed I got an infestation of lesser bots calling as well, some I have never heard of before, they seem to follow กGooglebotก as though he is the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

What caused this infestation of bots?

Well, I got interested in rss feeds, I thought กWhat a good tool for drawing traffic to my site.ก

So I studied up on rss feeds until I understood what was involved. Now I am no ‘techieก, and the most programming I do is html in กNotepadก, making my own web pages.

Rss feeds use a similar language called xml, so it was easy to understand for me, and I was able to quickly make up an rss feed page in กNotepadก, placed it on my server, downloaded a กfeed readerก software, opened it up, placed the address of my feed in the กfeed readerก, and up came my rss feed in the reader. It was so easy I wrote an ebook to tell everyone how to do it, itกs called ‘really Simple RSSก.

There are many rss directories and syndication services that I submitted the address of my rss feed to, so other people can look at the feed in their กfeed readerก and see what articles I am posting.

Some of the กsubscribersก to the feed actually come and visit my site to see what itกs all about, which happened almost straight away after I submitted my feed.

In less than 36 hours, กGooglebotก found my feed!

In a little over two days later Yahooกs กSlurpก bot found my feed, and from there on they have both been crawling my site with the lesser bots every single day.

They crawl everything, they crawl all my pdf ebooks, they look at a few pages in กWebmasters Cornerก, they even look at my กBonus Reportsก, and even descend the staircase into my กSecret Vaultก!

When will they go home and stop prying into my little secrets?

I know I encourage them like leaving cheese for a mouse, by putting more pdf files, software and ebooks on my site every day, so I suppose the poor bots can’t ever keep up!

I found out that like mice like cheese, that กGooglebotก likes my pdf files, he has been fitted with digital spectacles so he is now able to actually read keyword rich pdf files all the way through to the end! So he likes pdf files.

So I have obliged him!

I put 85 pdf files up on my server one night just to keep him happily reading! I have put many more up on the server since, and will continue to create more pdf files of classic authors for free download, just to keep him calling with his กfriendsก.

Isn’t this a laugh?

Itกs like taking in a stray dog, feeding him, housing him, and the dog loosing the ability to wander off again and finding you have got a lodger for life.

My siteกs ranking has risen considerably both in Yahoo and Google, but for some reason that escapes me for the time being, my ranking rose more quickly in Yahoo and they rank it much higher than Google. I may well find the reason for this before long and put it in another article.

So if you are a web site owner struggling to get noticed by the web bots, don’t put it off much longer, put up an rss feed with articles about your products or service and not only will กGooglebotก call with his กfriendsก, but actual live people will call too.

About The Author

Tony Dean runs a web site selling ebooks and software at: http://www.ebooksales.com

Subscribe to his ezine just send a blank email to: ebooksales@aweber.com

This article was posted on October 21, 2004

by Tony Dean

How To Display RSS Feeds On Your Website

How To Display RSS Feeds On Your Website

by: Allan Burns

This article is intended as a guide for webmasters who want to display automatically updated content on their website in the form of RSS feeds. In this article I will cover the easiest method to implement using javascript for displaying RSS on websites to create additional dynamic content. This will allow you to display headlines from syndicated content around the web on your website.

RSS to Javascript.

By far the easiest method is to use client side javascript to parse and display the headlines on your site. To achieve this all you need to do is cut and paste some HTML or javascript code into the web page where you want the RSS feed headlines to display.

To achieve this there are several sites that offer a free service that will allow you to select a few options to choose your feed source and display formatting parameters. You will then be presented with some javascript code that you can cut and paste into your website.

Now before I give you the address of the sites that offer this service freely there are a few points I need to clarify with you. Although you will achieve your goal of displaying dynamic content on your site in a few short minutes there are some downsides to this method.

Javascript is not search engine friendly.

As you may or may not already know, javascript is not visible to search engine spiders. They will not see the RSS feed you have parsed into your site and so this will not benefit you if you are doing this to better your search engine rankings.

You are using a third party service.

The second potential downside is that although the javascript is on your site you are actually calling a script on another server. This could lead to a couple of potential problems. If the server is busy it will mean the news feed will take longer to display on your site. The other point is if the third party server fails or disappears altogether then your feed will not be displayed at all.

In summary there are a few downsides, but if you do not code and want some feeds on your site quickly then this is the way to go. Ok, so now you understand what is involved here are the links to the sites that provide the free RSS to javascript service. All you need to do is follow the on site instructions.

Feed2JS

RSS2HTML

RSStoJavascript

FeedSweep

RSS Xpress Lite

About The Author

Allan is the webmaster at http://www.newsniche.com an RSS resopurce for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.

This article was posted on April 08

by Allan Burns

Screen Scraping Your Way Into RSS

Screen Scraping Your Way Into RSS

by: Dennis Pallett

Introduction
RSS is one the hottest technologies at the moment, and even big web publishers (such as the New York Times) are getting into RSS as well. However, there are still a lot of websites that do not have RSS feeds.
If you still want to be able to check those websites in your favourite aggregator, you need to create your own RSS feed for those websites. This can be done automatically with PHP, using a method called screen scrapping. Screen scrapping is usually frowned upon, as itกs mostly used to steal content from other websites.
I personally believe that in this case, to automatically generate a RSS feed, screen scrapping is not a bad thing. Now, on to the code!
Getting the content
For this article, weกll use PHPit as an example, despite the fact that PHPit already has RSS feeds (http://www.phpit.net/syndication/).
Weกll want to generate a RSS feed from the content listed on the frontpage (http://www.phpit.net). The first step in screen scraping is getting the complete page. In PHP this can be done very easily, by using implode(file(กก, ก[the url here]ก)); IF your web host allows it. If you can’t use file() youกll have to use a different method of getting the page, e.g. using the CURL library (http://www.php.net/curl).
Now that we have the content available, we can parse it for the content using some regular expressions. The key to screen scraping is looking for patterns that match the content, e.g. are all the content items wrapped in <div>กs or something else? If you can successfully discover a pattern, then you can use preg_match_all() to get all the content items.
For PHPit, the pattern that match the content is <div class="contentitem">[Content Here]<div>. You can verify this yourself by going to the main page of PHPit, and viewing the source.
Now that we have a match we can get all the content items. The next step is to retrieve the individual information, i.e. url, title, author, text. This can be done by using some more regular expression and str_replace() on the each content items.
By now we have the following code;

<?php

// Get page
$url = "http://www.phpit.net/";
$data = implode("", file($url));

// Get content items
preg_match_all ("/<div class=\"contentitem\">([^`]*?)<\/div>/", $data, $matches);

Like I said, the next step is to retrieve the individual information, but first letกs make a beginning on our feed, by setting the appropriate header (text/xml) and printing the channel information, etc.

// Begin feed
header ("ContentType: text/xml; charset=ISO88591");
echo "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"ISO88591\" ?>
";
?>
<rss version="2.0"
itle);

// Second, get url
preg_match ("/<a href=\"([^`]*?)\">/", $match, $temp);
$url = $temp[ก1ก];
$url = trim($url);

// Third, get text
preg_match ("/<p>([^`]*?)<span class=\"byline\">/", $match, $temp);
$text = $temp[ก1ก];
$text = trim($text);

// Fourth, and finally, get author
preg_match ("/<span class=\"byline\">By ([^`]*?)<\/span>/", $match, $temp);
$author = $temp[ก1ก];
$author = trim($author);

// Echo RSS XML
echo "<item>
";
echo "\t\t\t<title>" . strip_tags($title) . "</title>
";
echo "\t\t\t<link>http://www.phpit.net" . strip_tags($url) . "</link>
";
echo "\t\t\t<description>" . strip_tags($text) . "</description>
";
echo "\t\t\t<content:encoded><![CDATA[
";
echo $text . "
";
echo " ]]></content:encoded>
";
echo "\t\t\t<dc:creator>" . strip_tags($author) . "</dc:creator>
";
echo "\t\t</item>
";
}
?>

And finally, the RSS file is closed off.

</channel>
</rss>

Thatกs all. If you put all the code together, like in the demo script, then youกll have a perfect RSS feed.
Conclusion
In this tutorial I have shown you how to create a RSS feed from a website that does not have a RSS feed themselves yet. Though the regular expression is different for each website, the principle is exactly the same.
One thing I should mention is that you shouldn’t immediately screen scrape a websiteกs content. Email them first about a RSS feed. Who knows, they might set one up themselves, and that would be even better.
Download sample script at http://www.phpit.net/viewsource.php?url=/demo/screenscrape%20rss/example.php

About The Author

Dennis Pallett is a young tech writer, with much experience in ASP, PHP and other web technologies. He enjoys writing, and has written several articles and tutorials. To find more of his work, look at his websites at http://www.phpit.net, http://www.aspit.net and http://www.ezfaqs.com

This article was posted on December 11, 2004

by Dennis Pallett