When it comes to desktop operating systems in the financial and real estate space, Microsoft Windows remains king. In commercial real estate’s many businesses, contact and email management more often than not means Outlook. And there’s great value in getting feeds of the business news you need piped right into the same environment you have open on your desktop to handle your communications and schedule.
Blogs have feeds of their content available — it’s one of the features that makes a blog a blog. Sometimes they’re called RSS feeds, mainly because without using lots of three-letter acronyms, your company’s computer people wouldn’t feel as superior. No matter the name, think of a feed as a conversation between machines. And what runs on machines? Software. So feeds are a way for different pieces of software to have a conversation.
It’s really a one-way conversation when it comes to blog feeds. Through its feed, the blog is announcing what’s already on it as well as what just got added to the blog.
So how do we get The Source — or any blog — to announce to Outlook? That is, how do we get Outlook to display the content and new items in a blog we need to follow for our business?
Easy, once we hop a small hurdle Outlook puts in front of us for absolutely no good reason. (Outlook users, I feel your pain.)
Blogs have feeds…
We’re a blog. So we’ve got a feed. The plain old RSS feed at The Source is here:
Click this and you won’t get far — just get the raw feed data on your screen. That click causes our blog to labor under the mistaken presumption that you’re a machine, and so tries to talk to you like a machine. Most software that can read a feed can read this stuff. But not Outlook, as far as I can tell.
…But Outlook needs special blog feeds
One of our readers asked today what was up with Outlook ’07 and getting our feed. It turns out that Outlook doesn’t like plain RSS feeds, it likes Feedburner feeds.
What’s Feedburner? Think of it as a thing Google bought for a lot of money, because that’s what it is. It’s a big collection of blog feeds formatted a special way.
And Outlook is so very special it needs a special formatting to be able to read a feed.
Our Feedburner feed
This is our blog’s Feedburner feed:
If you copy this link, then paste it into the Feed menu of Outlook (help with this can be found in this video) you will have our content delivered right into Outlook.
If you use the other, plain-vanilla RSS feed, that won’t work. At least with Outlook ’07.
This holds true for other blogs
If you have a Gmail or other Google account, you can easily do this conversion of a plain feed to a Feedburner feed with any blog feed you find. They call it “burning” a feed. Head over to feedburner.google.com to start.
So if you’ve got any questions, leave a comment.
- Google Drops Auto-Publishing to Twitter Feature from FeedBurner; Alternatives (labnol.org)
- 12 Great Ways to Use Your Business Blog’s RSS Feed (3wfactory.net)
- Adding RSS to the Metric Mix (dialing8.com)