Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

How should I use RSS in my enterprise?

I am an administrator for a large school district (295 schools)
and am tired of email for communication. I am sold on the use of RSS and would
like to know your opinion regarding using RSS for this endeavor and what
obstacles and/or pitfalls I should prepare for.

It really depends on what aspects of email communication you’re wanting to
replace. For example RSS is no replacement for person-to-person email.

However it’s a great way to publish and broadcast information.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

For example (and I’m making some huge assumptions here), you might publish
administrative bulletins or news via RSS that are picked up by individual
schools or individuals within the schools. Schools might publish news,
schedules, what-have-you via RSS to be picked up by parents, teachers, and even
students.

Heck … teachers could even publish their class assignments via RSS.

There are two parts to the approach: publication and reception.

To publish an RSS feed, the easiest way is probably to set up some kind of
blogging software. I’m a big fan of MovableType, but there are literally
hundreds of alternatives that can do the job. The nice side effect of using
this as the publication means is that it actually hides the fact that there’s
an RSS feed involved at all to the authors … to them it’s just on-line
publishing.

The good news also is that as needed, access to both the resulting web pages
(if you even choose to expose them) and the feeds can be password protected.
Most RSS readers do support basic authentication associated with feeds. For
example you might want to keep your administrative feeds from being easily
readable by students.

And that does bring us to readers. Whomever you’re targeting with these
feeds will need an RSS reader or aggregator of some sort, and like publishing
platforms, there are many. If your district has standardized on Outlook, for
example, then newsgator is a great
solution. If you need a stand-alone reader, the FeedDemon is nice. There are also web-based aggregators if
the feeds are publicly accessible on the internet – portals like Yahoo do a
nice job in this arena.

But regardless of the tool, your recipients will need one. And that might
just be the biggest hurdle of all … it’s another tool that everyone will have
to get comfortable with.

But I think it’s fantastic way to streamline much of what I expect your
communication needs might be.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips & a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

NOW: name your own price! You decide how much to pay -- and yes, that means you can get this report completely free if you so choose. Get your copy now!

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.