One of the main challenges I had to address in writing my guide to business blogging, 7 Step Business Blog, was how to honour my promise to myself and readers that the book would be as jargon-free as possible. For one aspect in particular – the use and importance of syndication/RSS/newsfeeds – it was impossible not to use some jargon and also challenging to translate the jargon into plain English. But a basic understanding of the role of RSS and how to use it is crucial for having an effective business blog. So it was essential that I find a way to explain it so that it made sense to a business person who could well be totally uninterested in how it works, as distinct from what it does and what it can deliver.
Brian Clark on Copyblogger has some interesting observations to make on the subject in his post How to Sell RSS (Or Where the Feed Fanboys Drop the Ball). The post and the extended discussion in the comments should be required reading for anyone who is wondering how to explain RSS to anyone else.
Key takeaway for me is – don’t tell me what it is or does, tell me what it will do to make my life easier, more interesting or enjoyable, or more profitable.
Hold the features, gimme the benefits.