Friday, August 27, 2004

Back in the RS, Back in the RS, Back in the RSS

Back in the RS, Back in the RS, Back in the RSS


With apologies to the The Beatles, I've made easier access to an RSS link for this blog. 


What on earth is RSS? you ask.  


Well, if it does not mean anything to you, I suggest you learn about it.  I believe RSS will become as key a method to getting exactly the information you want as both email and the Web is today.  Seriously. 


RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication."  You can learn more at My Yahoo! - RSS Headlines Module -- Frequently Asked Questions. 


Here's why I think RSS is important and how it illustrates Lean principles.

  • It surfs the web for you.  Rather than you going to the sites you find useful and looking for the information you want, an RSS reader will do it automatically and let you know when something you have deemed important shows up.
  • It is the ultimate "opt-in" method.  You ONLY get the info you want, ONLY from the sources you want to hear from.
  • It taps the wealth of blogging.  Most serious bloggers now have RSS available.  (HA!  I say "most" because I just got on the bandwagon!!!) And with over three million blogs out there now, a few are relevant to you. 


So how do you get started?


  1. Find an "RSS Reader".  This is some type of software that will go out and track the RSS links you ask it to.  After a number of false starts due to frustratingly complex software, I got on board about three weeks ago when I discovered that the web portal I've used for years, My Yahoo!, added an RSS module.  Since it is web-based, there was no software to install, no firewalls to worry about, no permissions to ask.  And, whether I'm at home or at the office or at Uncle Wilbur's, all I need is web access to get it.
  2. Add the sources you want.  Any software will have a method to add sources.  In most cases, a site you want to follow will have "the little orange thingie" (as Frank Patrick puts it) with the "XML" in the middle.  Click on it and you'll get a long URL in your browser address window.  Copy that and paste it into your RSS reader.  Alternatively, there may be some phrase like "Syndicate this site (XML)" on a link which will do the same thing. 
  3. Sit back and learn.  I find it harder to explain this than to actually do it.  So, go do it. 


RSS is a Lean process because it lets the customer define value and the customer pulls the exact thing he wants.  Nothing is pushed.  Nothing extra is forced.  It is pure value. 


And I hope you find value in my postings.  I welcome your feedback. 

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