You are smiling right about now. You know the answer to that question. Social media was meant to be about our customers (and readers) selecting to receive the content we produce where and when they (we) choose to look at it. There was supposed to be none of that push thing that has so annoyed everyone in marketing 1.0. Or so we thought.
Marketing RSS by placing the icons prominently on your blog and site, or in your email signature are what we'd consider normal. Whenever I am on a site that has good content, the first icon I look for is a variation of the orange symbol with which we have all become so familiar. That is the way we choose to have content delivered to our RSS aggregator, and by doing so, we give the content master permission to populate our feed reader.
Things may be changing in the push direction. It turns out that some are getting away with pushing their content. Right now it is mainly done through email. It works like this: you go to an event, meet dozens of people and business cards are exchanged - although these days if you get my Conversation Agent card it means I already know you or of you. Then everyone gets back to their work and life. A few days later, in pops the first of an avalanche of blogs (how some call blog posts) camouflaged as newsletters in your email.
What do you do? There are several options available to you, most of them with consequences:
- you delete the email without a second thought, but then continue to receive and delete and sooner or later you become annoyed at the sender - and they may never know why
- you tag the email as spam, but then any other message from that sender is also tagged as such - other messages may be not only legitimate, but also welcome
- you unsubscribe to the email, but then you may "offend" the offender - imagine having to explain to someone why you unsubscribed to something you did not intend to subscribe to in the first place
You probably have plenty of examples of similar situations. It is so much better when you have people sign up voluntarily, when they choose to pull your content and give you permission to occupy a space in their reader and day. Why get pushy?
[RSS in plain English courtesy of Common Craft]