RSS of the Automata

Shane McChesney is writing about some very exciting possibilities with automated RSS newsfeed generation (using his company’s product, Fetch, as an example):

“Basically, though, we’ve put a scheduling engine and a SQL query interface together to allow users — IT users, analysts, not the end-user / reader — to write and schedule SQL queries on any ODBC datasource in the enterprise.

The query results are formatted into two text strings, which become the <title> and <description> elements of an <item> in a Fetch RSS <channel>.” 

The information can then be read in the Fetch reader on the desktop or they can use any reader that supports RSS. Their focus right now is on the call center but it can really be used throughout a company. Plus, you can query any system that supports ODBC. No worries about integrating with a multitude of different systems. Very cool.

I can think of a lot of applications specifically for associations:

  • Total members that day compared to a year ago.
  • Names of new members that day/week (with a link to more information about that person/company).
  • Names of people/companies whose memberships have lapsed that day/week (with a link to their info). Or even better, members who are about to lapse in the next two weeks. Call those folks and get them to re-up!
  • Total conference/convention registration numbers compared to same time last year.
  • Members who were recently given an award or other achievement recognition by the association.

Now, I realize that any association management system can create these same reports for you. However, the immediacy of having that data show up on the desktops of staff automatically when they boot-up in the morning is much more powerful and likely to be acted upon than a report sitting in your AMS. 

Check out the klogs group for more discussion on automated RSS feeds as well as weblogs as a KM tool.