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Pubcon X – RSS Feeds and Podcasting

Posted on Nov 17th, 2005
Written by Lee Odden
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    In this session on day two of the Pubcon 10 conference, presenters provided very good insight into how podcasting and RSS are being used now and what’s in store for the future.

    First up was Amanda Watlington from Searching for Profit.

    Sound files (podcasting) is not such a new topic. What’s new are the tools for production and distribution. Podcasting is growing fast. Avg subscribers per podcast 65. It’s not realistic to expect a large audience right away, it must be built up.

    According to TDG Research, there will be 56.8 million users of podcasts by 2010.

    How cane search marketers make money from podcasting?

    • Content
    • Advertising
    • Publishing (RSS)
    • Marketing Podcasts to listeners
    • Tools such as directories to help listeners find podcasts

    What to use if for? Examples:

    • Book Promotions
    • Government Information (Press Briefings)
    • Music – Band Promotion
    • E-learning (lectures – miss class and download the podcast, listen at the gym!)
    • Social Networking – beercasting
    • Audio Guides – – for places of interest
    • Religious Programming
    • Business Messages – (biz podcast dir), investor relations

    Making it Work: Start by listening and focus on the user, not gadgets. Experiment and evaluate.

    Blogging tools:, slapcast (blogging by phone)

    Podcast SEO

    • Use good titles
    • Optimize sound files – tags have meaning
    • Use separate landing page for audio content
    • Optimize landing pages for each new file
    • Provide subscription info on each landing page
    • Build correct and valid feeds: RSS 2,0, MY Yahoo

    Audacity – podcast applicaiton. ID 3 Tags are opportunities for optimization.

    RSS Editors and Feed Managers

    Feed Management: Feedburner

    Be sure to validate your RSS. Bad RSS is your enemy.

    Remember: Podcasting takes time.


    Next up, Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo

    Why RSS? What’s important about RSS?

    • Traffic and links back
    • RSS is the ultimate opt-in
    • Readers fetch content frequently
    • Syndicate summaries of your website and send clicks back to your site
    • Add to My Yahoo button (and others) increases subscriber base
      (most people don’t get the orange xml button)
    • The number of people subscribing to feeds is increasing

    Why RSS? Ranking
    Bloggers love RSS feeds and will link freely. More links helps rankings.

    My Yahoo
    Google Reader
    News Gator

    RSS Search:
    Google BlogSearch

    My Yahoo Content Directory:

    • Search capability
    • Editorial picks
    • Directory

    Yahoo search results highlight blogs in search results

    RSS Soon to be Baked in
    – Built into browsers: Opera, Mac OSX 10, Firefox, IE7?, Toolbars
    – Built into Mail Clients: Outlook News Gator, Thunderbird

    What you can do today:

    • Create good content
    • Provide feeds and ping
    • Add them to directories
    • Use the add to my Yahoo button
    • Read the Publisher’s Guide to RSS
    • Use the RSS auto-discovery link

    Yahoo’s Role:

    • Aggregation: via My Yahoo
    • Publishing: Y360, Media RSS
    • Pings:, My Yahoo ping server
    • Discovery: content directory, search
    • Search: web and news search
    • Yahoo Podcast Service: search and submit:


    Next up: Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR

    Show of hands: how many new Pubcon attendees? Lots

    Phenominal opportunity with RSS for both large organizations and entreprenuers.

    What is RSS? A Text broadcast of the site’s content. RSS allows you to pick and choose the content you like and have it delivered directly to you.

    “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
    Who seeks what in which channel from whom with what effects?

    What (channel) > Whom > Effects > Who <>

    Who: The real story is the large population of “Unaware RSS users”
    ie, people who use RSS, but don’t know it.

    Total Usage of RSS:
    Do not use 69%
    Unaware RSS user 27%
    Aware RSS USer 4%

    Press Feed
    RSS Submit by Ksoft

    Whom: “Don’t create feeds, create content consumers can’t live without” i.e., don’t overemphasize the technology, focus on content.

    Effects: Track daily blog citation trend, linkrank and percentage

    IceRocket Blogs Trend Tool
    PubSub Site Stats

    Example: Consumer Reports has 2m online paid subscribers did a test of using RSS. Found 5 gaps in news that they created RSS feeds for.

    Very significant results. Technology made it happen, but it was the content that made it successful.

    Podcasting is getting to a “Tipping Point”.


    Next Up Daron Babin, CEO of New Gen Broadcasting –

    Very excited about Podcasting. Just came from the Portable Media Conference where there were a suprising 2500 attendees.

    Growth rate of Podcasting – Leo Laporte The Tech Guy
    16% of people use RSS to subscribe to podcasts
    96% have listened to 6 or more podcast
    90% listen to all podcasts of that feed
    8.5 people are satisfied with content
    97% male
    (other stats I did not get)

    The key is to publish content you are passionate about.

    Important numbers for VCs:

    • Distribution
    • Capable Infrastructure
    • Compelling Content
    • Revenue Model
    • Measurement and Tracking

    Preferred length to a podcast 1-1.5 hours long. Hosting is a critical issue.

    Limelight Distribution Network – content distribution network

    If you’re going to podcast, make sure your analytics are in place. Measure bandwidth. For, thought traffic was at 400GB/mo, was actually at 1.6 TB/mo.

    – a survey for users so podcast publishers can capture demographic data.

    Bridge Ratings – Est by 2010 76m people will be downloading at least 1 podcast per week.

    Expansion of Podcast portable media devices will drive adoption of Podcast listeners.

    Future of Podcasting: Webmaster radio is developing technology to spider mp3 files using natural language to text. Allows a search to be performed on the mp3 file to find the moment a word/phrase has been mentioned so use can go directly to that point.

    This was an excellent session. I will be interviewing Amanda Watlington on RSS and Podcasting in the next few weeks.

    Tags: Podcasting, RSS, RSS marketing, Podcasting SEO