Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We do it all with LEGOs®: Building Blocks for Syndication Solutions

Marketing pros should take a page from the mechanical engineering playbook--prototyping things using my kids' favorite toy: the Lego. (As much as I hate to admit it, engineers really do deserve a place in the business food chain...) Today's syndication tools offer the same modular capabilities.

I listen with rabid regularity to John Furrier's Podtech.net infoTalk podcast series. He gets really great interviews with all sorts of people from the venture capital, education, services, technology development, and technology marketing communities.

His November 21, 2005 podcast with Dan’l Lewin--the adult supervision at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus--contained a really interesting train of thought that resulted in this post.

Talking about software development tools, Lewin made the comment that "effectively, it's a world of the technology [that] is more like Legos... you're gonna assemble things with something in mind." He then talked about those pre-packaged Lego kits allowing you to "assemble things in a meaningful way and it's the 'cool guy on the island' with the boat and the palm tree and the whatever that really is what you want to do."

Mechanical engineering programs at schools like MIT and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have used Legos for years to do rapid prototyping of all sorts of devices. The Lego system's modularity makes the work easier and much less expensive than prototyping with injection moldings.

Happily for us, the software equivalents of Legos are making their way on to the scene, enabling marketers to utilize syndication technology building blocks to create feeds for public relations, direct marketing, e-commerce, and customer relationship management. In fact, I was talking with Rok Hrastnik (a.k.a. ‘Mr. RSS’) of MarketingStudies the other day, and he gave me a great short list of syndication building blocks to examine.

Over the next few weeks, we'll take a look at some of these tools Rok mentioned, and ways to use them. If you want a head start, check out the easy-to-use tools like NotePage, Inc.'s Feed for All and The Info Guru LLC's My RSS Creator. These tools can have you producing your own feeds in as little as 30 minutes.

Though a little more complex, some more advanced tools are also worth checking out. See SimpleFeed, Nooked FeedWizard, PressFEED, ByPass ePublisher, and the variety of tools at MyST Technology.

It's the holiday season, so do some window shopping and be the next kid on the block with the cool 'RSS Legos' (and tell us what you build with them). All of your friends will want to come and play!


At November 30, 2005 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Upon your recommendation I listened to the John Furrier and Dan'l Lewin Podcast. This is just facinating information, I love the Lego analogy. I look forward to your upcoming blogs on these tools. Please rememeber to write on a level that some of us Lego-challanged readers can understand.


At December 01, 2005 12:39 PM, Blogger Kip Meacham said...

My intent is to break it down enough to enable readers to make a decision about whether to investigate the tools for their particular needs.

I'll do my best.

Thanks, Anon.


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