Big news recently in the social media and web world, Google announced that it was shutting down the Google Reader RSS tool. What’s Google Reader? What’s RSS? Move along, nothing to see here.
If you didn’t ask yourself one of those questions than you may be interested in continuing to read this article. If you were a big user of Google Reader, you may be asking yourself, “Now what!”. Personally, I resisted Google Reader for quite a while. I had been a longtime user of the Bloglines application and it was giving me everything I needed. Then word came through the channels that Bloglines was being killed off (see a pattern?) and I decided that Google Reader was the application to migrate. At the time I had 300+ RSS subscriptions, but rarely read any of them. My migration was more of an archiving exercise than trying to find a replacement for a tool I regularly used no longer being available.
There’s been plenty already written about Google Reader’s demise, and if you’re looking for replacements, you might find some of these articles helpful:
- Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives
- A Real Simple Solution to the Death of Google Reader
- Google Reader is dead, so we rebuilt it for you in Zite (in six hours)
- RIP Google Reader: There are Other Options for You
- Goodbye Google Reader
Perhaps the next question though is does it matter to you as a business. RSS used to be THE way people actually kept up tried to keep up with all of the content that was flowing into the web every second of the day. You’d organize your feeds into groups and then try to read through on your own schedule rather than trying to remember to actually visit all of those websites individually. That’s perhaps the key here for you and your business. On very rare occasion is the mass of your website audience or customer base going to actively come back and visit your site on a regular basis.
Go to Your Audience
Because you can’t expect all of your visitors to come back to your site every day you post new content, you need to plan on going out to your audience and getting in front of them where they are. It used to be that just having the website is all you needed. As the old Arby’s commercial said “WHERE IS EVERYONE!?” The answer to that question used to just be “Arby’s! Roast beef sale”, no, the answer to our question was “on the web”. That’s where everyone is. Now we’re much more specific. Groups of everyone are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and yes even Google+.
This is why it’s now important for your business to not just have a website, but to also have a presence on these other social media islands or outposts as you may also hear. Like Brian Clark of Copyblogger says, this is why it’s also important to really think about email marketing as well. Getting your site audience and customers to subscribe to your updates by email is another beneficial solution. I can almost guarantee you that most people are still looking at their Inbox at daily if not multiple times a day.
It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
Sometimes there is a place for throwing a bunch of stuff out there and seeing what sticks. But many times you’ll just irritate your audience, fans, subscribers, friends, etc. This is why quality content is important. Don’t just vomit your marketing noise out to the interwebs. Think of what your audience wants. What are they asking for? What do they say they need? What do they actually need that they may have not even though of for themselves? Develop that content and put it on your website. Actively share it to your different areas but be intentional about it. Not pushy. You want to remind your viewers of the library of great content you have available on your site, not beat them over the head with your latest tome of marketing spiel.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go revisit Bloglines again, I heard they’re not quite dead yet.