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Blogs and RSS Feeds, oh my

Everyone knows what a weblog is right? Not! How about RSS? These recently new and increasingly popular web technologies are taking off and becoming good ways for you to communicate with your customers and prospects.

Blog is short for web log and became popular during the 2004 Presidential Election as weblog writers all over the world opined and investigated both the president and John Kerry. There are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs out there. Many are just people, or even kids, who want to express their opinion on a particular topic. Some blogs are from reporters who go into more detail about their stories than TV, radio or newspaper allows. You can find blogs on just about any topic. They are basically online diaries.

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RSS has evolved to stand for Really Simple Syndication which makes for an easy way to publish your weblog or other content to those who want to see it. Content comes to your desktop via a program called an RSS reader. It's very similar to email and as a matter of fact there is a free program called RSS Popper that is an add-in to Outlook that puts these RSS feeds right into your email client. The difference is that YOU pick which items you want unlike someone just sending you every email they can think of.

Combined, these technologies give you a way to communicate. New product? Describe it in your weblog and everyone who picks up the feed knows about it instantly. I recently put together a step by step series of posts on how to construct a basic business plan on my weblog at: http://shamrockbusinesscoaching.blogspot.com/ and post there once per day about topics that may be of interest to the small business owner. You can either go to the weblog every day and read the latest post or get an RSS reader and paste in the URL from my feed and get the daily post on your computer. See how this works? It's becoming more popular every day and I suggest that you download a free RSS reader, find a few blogs that you like and test it out. Then think about how your business can utilize this wonderful technology.

Related: Blogging Method

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Mike Shannon is the owner of Shamrock Business Coaching, a professional coaching practice that helps owners of small and medium sized businesses increase their profits. You can visit Shamrock Business Coaching on the web at: http://www.shamrockcoaching.com

Problems Adding RSS Feeds To My Yahoo - Feedburner Solution

In the last few weeks, adding feeds to My Yahoo has been next to impossible. Here's a solution that worked for me with a feedburner feed.

Why Won't It Add My Feed

If you have a weblog , adding it to My Yahoo via a feed is a fairly standard option. To do this, you simply accessed your My Yahoo page, clicked "add content", click "add RSS by url" and then entered your feed. At least it used to be that way.

For the last few weeks, the add content provision for My Yahoo has developed a glitch. Following the above steps simply no longer works. Instead, My Yahoo will show you a preview of your feed, but refuses to actually add it to the My Yahoo page. Why is it My Yahoo will show you a preview, but not add the feed? This realization is followed by an combination of the following: banging head on the desk...rebooting computer...throwing computer...

Feedburner Solution for My Yahoo

Last night, I was able to add http://feeds.feedburner.com/BtrTaxRelief to My Yahoo through feedburner.com. Here's how I did it.

First, log into and pull up a My Yahoo page. Next, pull up feedburner.com in a second window. Log in to your account. In the resulting page, you should see a clickable title for your feed. To the immediate left of the title is an "xml" link in light grey. Click it to open a new window.

In the resulting window, you will see a light blue box followed by your feed. In the blue box near the bottom, you should see a "My Yahoo" button. Click it.

At this point, your My Yahoo add content page should appear with a preview of how the page will look in My Yahoo. This will be the same preview you were shown when trying to add the feed the traditional way. Go ahead and click the "add content" button on the top right of the page. You should see a page showing the preview and a message that it has been added.

Once you've done this, it takes up to 10 minutes for the feeds to appear on My Yahoo. I can't promise this will work for everyone, but I was able to add three feeds last night.

Good Luck!

Halstatt Pires is a search engine optimization specialist with http://www.marketingtitan.com - an Internet marketing and advertising company providing internet marketing services in San Diego, California.

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