Memberize and RSS

A typical RSS feed icon

A typical RSS icon identifying a feed

It seems to me that a few of you are not picking up on an opportunity available to you in your Memberize toolbox.  In this article we’ll focus on the RSS tools available in Memberize websites.  I’ve personally be asked a number of times if there is any way to keep up to date on what events or meetings are coming up with out having to visit the website to do so.  RSS is a common technology standard that has been around for sometime and it’s available in Memberize.

RSS – Rich Site Summary OR Real Simple Syndication
Wikipedia – RSS

I don’t know this for sure but, I’d guess that RSS is probably still most associated with Blogs.  It provides a way for all of us to plug a blog’s RSS feed into a computer or mobile device application we access often so we can read headlines and summaries of things that might be interesting to read with out having to visit the Blog itself.  Then, if you want to read further you typically click the title (or more info link) and you’re taken to that article at the source itself -The Blog’s Website.

Well, this is great for Blogs but it is equally useful for any other dynamic or often updated information on websites.  For example your Event/Meetings Calendar!  Memberize has RSS baked into the Calendar feature.  You just have to turn it on via [Admin > Communications > Communication Options].  Once you have RSS enabled in communication options you’ll see it listed in your Admin menu as RSS Feeds (See image – Accessing your RSS Options).  Go there and see the options you have.  Choose the types of Calendar Feeds you want to offer your members or website visitors (See image – Choose your RSS Options).

 (Accessing your RSS Options)

(Choose your RSS Options)

Once you have your Calendar RSS options set correctly you will see a little RSS image displayed on the upper right hand side of your Calendar display.  When somebody clicks on that they will see all the Calendar RSS options available to them (See Calendar RSS List image.)

(Calendar RSS List)

By clicking on the RSS or XML images you will be taken straight to the Feed.  If you’re browser is set to display RSS feeds natively they should open up with in the browser.  If you have a default RSS reader setup on your computer or device THAT application should ask you what you’d like to do with this information.  You can also copy the Feed URL that is offered in the listing and paste that into your reader of choice.  As of this writing, Safari in OS X Mountain Lion does not to handle RSS natively and may ask you to provide a reader (I personally miss that feature).  I use NetNewsWire to handle all of my RSS subscriptions now on my Mac but I like to use Flipboard on my iPad and iPhone.  Windows users have variety of options too.  I hear SharpReader is a top pick but I haven’t tried it.  Outlook can be your RSS feed reader as well as Internet Explorer.  As of this writing Firefox handles Feeds natively.  Chrome will ask you what service you’d like to use to display your Feeds if you try to access via it’s URL/Address.  (Again, all this information is true as of the date of this article.) Oh yes…don’t forget to check into Google Reader

Job Bank RSS Feeds

We also offer RSS feeds of your Job Bank, although you’ll have to be using the Memberize 2012 system configuration.  If you have an active Job Bank / Job Board people can subscribe via RSS to better keep up to date on what the latest postings are.  To enable your Job Bank RSS Feeds first make sure RSS is enabled in Communication Options as I mentioned earlier then, see your Job Bank Display Options.  You have a choice of Detailed or Summary Listings.

Give it a try.  I’m guessing you, your fellow administrators, your members, and visitors will enjoy this new accessibility you provide them.

TIP:  Do a search on Google for “Best RSS Reader”.  You’ll see an abundance of options for you.  Many Free Options and some Paid.

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