The opening for day two of the Blog Business Summit is the keynote from Microsoft on IE, RSS and Windows Vista (nee Longhorn). Last night Scoble and Hachamovitch said they were going to be tweaking the original presentation a little given what they’d seen and heard today. My presumption is that this means they’re going to take the crowd through what RSS is, why a business should care about it, and how and why Microsoft has decided to devote a good deal of resources to the technology.
The primary question I have is with regard to spam RSS feeds and blogs. From the Gnomedex presentation and Channel 9 video it seemed like Microsoft was going to make it very easy for the user to subscribe to feeds through IE7, much the way it’s easy in Firefox and Safari. The spam issues come up when spammers start using pop-up windows to get people to subscribe to spam RSS feeds (and potentially more than one feed at a time). It’s the same strategy as the pop-up that offers to scan my hard drive but actually puts malware on it.
And now let’s hear from Robert, Dean and Sean Lyndersay.
Dean Hachamovitch starts us off and notes that there are two groups at this conference. The geeks (Pirillo, Scoble, etc.) and the rest of us. The rest of us are wondering how all of this relates to our businesses, and what we’re supposed to do with all this information when we get back to the office on Monday. Dean intends to talk to the second group.
When you get back to work on Monday, Dean suggests three things:
- Start blogging
- Your blog is step 1 of n
- Not all the rules are known
Starting to blog is the most important step. The first of many steps en route to having a great connection/engagement with your customers. It’s a vehicle to give unvarnished truth to your customers through the blog. Dean says not to worry about some of the details, especially things like RSS, just get going and the rules will come into place over time.
Stepping back, what is the web all about. Originally it was “Browse.” Browse was great, but it was hard to find things. But to compliment Browse we added “Search.” Search is now huge and an integral part of the web experience. The third step is Subscribe. “Once you subscribe, you never go back. Think about the first time you met a TiVo user, they were frothing at the mouth … Subscribe is like that … the information comes to you.” There are 3 big things for end users on subscribe:
- It means automatic delivery .. you don’t have to keep going out to find things
- Notification. No longer have to go check. Save time and cover more ground.
- Offline. Can leave notebook plugged in and connected and all the information has been collected. (this is mostly a benefit of downloadable RSS readers)
This subscribe feature enables more than just communication with customers, but a more powerful relationship. This is because of not just the technology, but what you can do with it. It allows you to turn your customers into evangelists. As well as give you feedback. There are some business specifics that can be exploited.