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Matt Watson

Matt Watson Chief Technical Officer

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Part 2 - "RSS & Data Syndication"

Perhaps one of the best technologies to become popular over the last few years is RSS feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS provides a simple way to subscribe to information being syndicated. This provides a way to receive updates when new information is available without having to check a website over and over looking for new information. For example, if you wanted to be notified on a daily basis what the weather was going to be the next few days, you could subscribe to a RSS feed from Weather.com.

Ok, so RSS sounds useful, how do I subscribe to RSS news feeds?

There are a lot of programs available to subscribe to RSS news feeds. Here are some that I recommend:
Google Reader

Microsoft Outlook 2007
RSS Bandit

I personally use Google Reader and I highly recommend it. I currently subscribe to about 30 feeds with it.

Some example of common RSS feeds

CNN.com News
http://rss.cnn.com/rss/cnn_topstories.rss

Weather .com
http://www.weather.com/weather/rss/subscription

Daily Dilbert Comic
http://www.dilbert.com/rss/

Craigslist – Looking for something on Craigslist? Stop checking everyday and just subscribe to an RSS feed! Scroll to the bottom of the page and there is a link for their subscriptions.
http://kansascity.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=ford+escape&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max&format=rss

What movies are coming out on BluRay next week? No problem.
http://feeds.feedburner.com/movieweb_hdthisweek

Just about anything you can think of is available in an RSS feed from somewhere.

Popular Automotive RSS feeds

AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com
http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blog/feed?xn_auth=no

DrivingSales.com
http://drivingsales.com/blog/?wpmu-feed=posts

DealerRefresh.com
http://feeds.feedburner.com/dealerrefresh

Automotive News
http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=rss01&mime=xml

So how can I leverage RSS technology for my dealership?

Of course if your dealership has a blog, your customers can subscribe to your blog via RSS.

I would also recommend working with your dealer website provider to integrate RSS content right in to your website. Display news from your manufacturer, local news, local weather, or display the news feed from your own dealership blog. Showing content like this on your website keeps your website fresh with ever changing dynamic content. Content that can help your SEO efforts and make your website more useful for your customers.

Some website providers also provide RSS feeds of your inventory. Potential customers can subscribe to your inventory data feeds and be notified any time you add a new vehicle or modify a vehicle in your inventory. Some search engines will allow you to submit your inventory RSS feeds to them as a form of an XML sitemap. This would allow the search engines to easily spider and keep up to date on your inventory pages.

Inventory RSS examples:
http://www.garycrossleyford.com/RSS-Inventory-Used.aspx
http://www.garycrossleyford.com/RSS-Inventory-New.aspx

 

How do I know if a website has RSS capabilities?

Subscription/RSS Icon:

 

When visiting a website, look at the address bar in your browser for the RSS icon. Also look for the RSS icon on the website itself. Sometimes it can be found at the very bottom of the page.

 

 

“Web 2.0” is a buzzword used all over the place these days. So what does it mean? Web 2.0 simply describes the changing trends in the use of the Internet and web design. Web 2.0 is not a new version of the World Wide Web. Instead, it reflects the changes in the way that end users and software developers use the web. This article is part of a multi-part series attempting to help educate and define what Web 2.0 means.

Matt Watson
Chief Technical Officer
VinSolutions

Follow my blog at http://www.drivingsales.com/blog/mwatson/

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