One Degree: “Jordan, can you tell us about your .sig file and what the pros and cons of your approach are?”
I use the animated headline feature from “Feedburner”:http://www.feedburner.com/ in my .sig file, to publicize my blog. It is a very cool feature that I think everyone should try (provided they have a Feedburner feed associated with their site). The response to it has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have to agree that it does give my messages an extra bit of credibility than a static text “siggy” or even a company logo would.
Here’s a peek at what we’re talking about here:
Jordan Behan: I opted to list just my url, and not a full company name and title, in exchange for less content to have to look at. I’m still pretty convinced this was a good decision, as it shouldn’t be too busy, in my opinion.
When people first see it, it’s not out of the ordinary for them to say “Wow, I want one of those!” But here is where I start to list the cons of this method. I do web marketing and PR consulting, specializing in small business. Many of my clients and prospects discover what an RSS feed is when I explain it to them, and not before. If you’re not already familiar with the use of feeds, then you might not understand the content that you see when you click the link in the animated .gif. I have yet to have anyone ask about the “site” they get linked through to when they click, but I have to guess that for some it is a bit confusing. They might have expected to be linked to my site, not the Feedburner feed.
That’s why I’m beginning to think (this exercise of explaining was certainly a catalyst) that I actually do need to add one last bit of info at the bottom of the .sig, for RSS newbies. Maybe something to the effect of: What’s an RSS feed? (With a link to a blog post explaining how to subscribe, etc.) Or, alternatively, just an extra link below that reads: Or click here to visit the homepage.
Still, overall I would have to say that the tool is very useful. It reminds people that I do have fresh content all the time, and even if it is a bit ugly, that content is available when you click through to the Feedburner feed, where you are just one more click away from the homepage, any given individual post or of course from subscribing. As the average end-user gets even savvier, this little tool will really begin to realize its potential.