A few people have asked me re-introduce the topics that I mentioned last week: blogs, podcasts, wikis, and RSS. So that’s what I’m doing this week.
Blogs are like online journals. Some are fun and interesting; some are business focused. You don’t need to know how to create a web site to write a blog. There are online tools (such as Blogger) that will help. If you can use Word, you can use Blogger. To find an interesting blog, you can check out Blogwise.
Podcasts are like audio blogs. You can listen to them online or download and listen to them later (maybe on your iPod). iPodder is a directory of podcasts. You can create podcasts using Audioblogger and your phone. I haven’t tried it but it seems pretty simple. Tools progress from there to include ways to interview people for your podcast or even produce a video podcast.
Wikis are like joint or shared blogs. Instead of one person having the power and responsibility to post on a site – a team does it or it is opened up to the public. The best example I know is Wikipedia.
RSS stands for “really simple syndication” or “rich site summary”. Some web sites offer RSS feeds; this generally means you can sign up to get a notification each time the site is updated. (You use an RSS reader on your computer to “get” the feed from the producer – the reader will pop up when you have a new item, similar to the way some people have the “You’ve got Mail” set up for their email.) It’s a good way to keep up on a site, a company or a topic. Some sites aggregate RSS feeds from other sites to either offer you a super RSS feed – or they post information from other sites (through the RSS feed) on their site – kind of like a tickertape going across the site. This isn’t the most technically sound explanation – but I hope it helps. To get an RSS Reader you can look online. I use one from RSSReader.
Creating or using an RSS feed can be a great tool for anyone interested in getting visitors to their web site. I’ll talk more about that in the next few weeks.