A lot of time and money is spent on developing a company website. Even more is spent attracting users to that site. Yet, we find a surprising number of sites that missed the critical questions of “Is my content accessible and is it distributable?”
Make it Accessible
There are too many options available today from a PC to a Mac, from an iPhone to a Pre, from Windows to Linux to limit your content to being usable in a single application or platform. The World Wide Web Consortium has been fighting for web standards for years. Their key objectives are accessibility, internationalization, device independence and mobile. Go to their site, www.w3.org, for a starting point. It’s more than a step toward open standards; it’s a move toward best practices.
Putting their guidance into practice eliminates concerns over how your audience is trying to view your content. Your content will be ready for consumption regardless of the user’s tools, and it’ll be working for the benefit of your business.
Make it Reusable
Now that you’re sure your content is accessible, you can even take your site out of the equation. The market hasn’t just changed around how users are accessing your site, the rules have changed about where they are wanting your content. They want the content at Google Reader, or Feedly or SpreedNews or any number of sites that help them digest the volumes of information that interests them. If you’re forcing them to come to your site, you’re pushing them somewhere else.
Making your content available via RSS helps you get it and keep it in the hands of your audience. And RSS is back in the headlines with instantaneous updates. You can find out more at www.rsscloud.org or read a quick RSS overview on Kathryn Corrick’s blog.
Your efforts with RSS won’t just make your users happy. It’ll also please your new media marketing team who will have content available for desktop widgets, Facebook apps, browser sidebars, news tickers and more.
Make it Digestible
We know attention spans are short. Keep your content and efforts to the point, and keep that in mind when you look at your RSS feeds and the information you’re pushing out. You should be limiting the feed to the most recent information or the last dozen or so items. Forgetting about this point can leave some readers trying to pull a massive amount of data that your user will never wait for.
If you want some other brainstorming ideas, check out this list of 100 Resources compiled by WebDesignDev. It’ll get you thinking in a 100 good ways.