“You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed.”

(originally published at MNteractive.com)

What the internet does really, really well is connect things through hyperlinks. The outcome of hyperlinks is connecting people. When people are connected, there’s a relationship.

Websites are an excellent marketing tool. Like any tool, they need to be used correctly. To do so, they need to build a relationship between the company and it’s customers.

This is a nice way to say what Microsoft’s resident weblogger Robert Scoble said:

“You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed.”

Why are weblogs addictive and marketing sites not? Authenticity, reality. and relationships.

It still surprises me how many websites aren’t weblogs. There are mechanisms with most weblog systems you get the following for free:

  • Easy to maintain content management system
  • RSS feeds
  • Categories and sections
  • Searching
  • Permalinks
  • Commenting systems
  • and they’re Google-friendly

This means, these things don’t need to be build from scratch and it’s a fertile ground to build a relationship with customers.

Maybe like the old Tootsie Roll commercial, everything looks like a weblog to me. Then again, maybe weblogs are the most mature, effective mechanism to communicate news quickly to everyone that cares.

UPDATE: Dave Winer says not having RSS is like not having business cards. I completely agree. Considering the high percentage of my correspondance is through email, I’m frequently well into a working relationship before there’s an opportunity to exchange business cards.

The first thing I do before I meet someone, Google them. If a website with an RSS feed doesn’t come up, or worse – they can’t be found – I always hesitate.

Stowe Boyd over at Cornate’s Get Real blog, confirms my hesitation in his More Egosurfing post:

“…Google Juice is about people ‘voting’ on your relevance to the issues you have decided to wrestle with, and represents the degree to which you’d be missed if you stopped blogging.”

“…as an indicator of the karma that bloggers have built up, by crafting posts that make people think, link, and comment, Google Juice means something important.”

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