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Ike Pigott Draws RSS Blood and News

Ike Pigott, of Accentuate the Positive, 2.0, shared news of an interesting project at the Birmingham Red Cross.

Get Newsplorer! The campaign includes two blogs and a customized/branded RSS reader that you can download.

The blogs are Red Cross Media Alerts and Jefferson County EMA Media Alerts. Also, check out Ike’s version of a branded RSS reader. That is just one of many ways you could accomplish this neat little freebie. During an emergency situation, I can imagine some news people launching this to keep track of new posts.

I like this for several reasons. First, news outlets always want these Red Cross and EMA alerts. Many news outlets have not engaged in RSS and this is a way to turn them on to it easily.

…a local example of RSS and blog adoption from Birmingham…

Second, using Blogger (as Ike has) the sites are free. Any free hosted service will do. Perhaps this will spur other nonprofits into the blogosphere. Later on, they may start a blog from within their ranks – beyond news releases and alerts, after seeing how easy it can be to publish. Blogs are an easy way to tell your organization’s story.

Third – and Ike, this is where my students will love you – the branded RSS reader is so cool I’m going to require they make one as part of their final project.

Yes, I know some will say that RSS readers are everywhere and why would someone want your branded version. Well, if they have not adopted RSS and you are the one that gets them started, they may well keep your branded version for awhile. That means each time they start the reader (which you can add other feeds to, as well) they will see your logo and info. Now what is wrong with that? The effort to make one is so minimal that the real question might be “Why not make one?”

Finally, Ike is helping nonprofits get into new media and that is laudable. His efforts are also in line with the ideals behind Operation Link Love where we are trying to find examples of nonprofit blogging. Ike takes the next step of “paying it forward” and “giving back” by getting the nonprofits involved. Now that is admirable and I appreciate his efforts. Good job, Ike.