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The Future of RSS is Not Blogs

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the so-sick-of-blogs dept.

The Internet 189

notepage writes "Blogs vaulted RSS into the limelight but are unlikely to be the force that sustains RSS as a communication medium. The biggest opportunities for RSS are not in the blogosphere but as a corporate communication channel. Even now, businesses that were initially reluctantly evaluating RSS are beginning to realize the power and benefit of the RSS information avenue. The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and content quality consistent."

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189 comments

Fuck RSS and fuck bloggers (0, Troll)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113651)

The future of RSS is AIDS

Re:Fuck RSS and fuck bloggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113888)

Aren't you confusing AIDS with AFRICA and RSS with GOOG?

What's the point? (0)

ucahg (898110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113657)

I still don't see the point for RSS.

I tried NetNewsWire, but it seemed like it just gathered all the links for a blog/news-source and made me use its built in browser to view them. Maybe I just don't get it...

I can see more of a use in a corporate setting, however.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113740)

Yeah... and since when did any corporation want to "minimize" our exposure to advertising.

They would gladly burn watermarks of their company logos into the corners of our vision if we were to let them do so.

Re:What's the point? (3, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113864)

Yeah... and since when did any corporation want to "minimize" our exposure to advertising.

Since the very beginning of advertising. Do you really think corporations enjoy throwing money away on advertising that isn't reaching their target audience or is otherwise ignored? If corporations can cut advertising costs by focusing their advertising dollars on those channels most likely to reach receptive consumers in their target audience, they'll jump at the chance.

Re:What's the point? (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114035)

This would be assuming that they take the time to hire a reputable advertising firm, instead of a fly-by-night that just crapfloods their ads wherever they possibly can. Fortunately, I think corporate advertising departments are wising up to this kind of thing, since many companies recently realized their advertising agents were putting their ads into spyware apps.

Re:What's the point? (0, Offtopic)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114256)

"Do you really think corporations enjoy throwing money away on advertising that isn't reaching their target audience or is otherwise ignored?"

Actually, that's wrong for a few reasons, most notably Goggle now offers AdSense for feeds [google.com] . So, for example, that's just a pay-per-click model.

You'll *definitely* see more ads in feeds as others like Yahoo (nee Overture) offer similar services.

(disclosure: my new project Bitty Browser [bitty.com] works with feeds)

Re:What's the point? (2, Interesting)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114330)

That's correct for any responsibly run business. Unfortunately that isn't all of them, but there are some.

I'm on the board of a non-profit community theatre and we haven't advertised in years, but we know we need to. The problem is that every penny counts and we can't afford to spend money on advertising to people who aren't interested. We can only afford to advertise if the advertisement is actually going to bring in enough additional money in ticket sales to cover the cost of the ad. (On average at least, obviously you can't predict the exact response to an ad down to the dollar.)

Sure, if a company has a multi-million or multi-billion dollar advertising budget and only loose controls on how the money is spent then self-satisfied advertising execs can generate crap ads that just piss people off. But overall companies hate wasting money, so it just comes down to control and feedback. I'm sure the advertising and marketing people love controlling a large budget with no accountability, but the top level management of the company would love to have accountability and prevent the advertising and marketing people from spending any dime that doesn't generate revenue. The problem is there isn't much ability for top management to do that.

Re:What's the point? (2, Interesting)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113912)

Mozilla Thunderbird has RSS capabilities. You can receive and browse them as if they were e-mail messages.

Site is already slow... article text: (-1, Redundant)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113658)

Future of RSS is Not Blogs

Blogs vaulted RSS into the limelight but are unlikely to be the force that sustains RSS as a communication medium. The biggest opportunities for RSS are not in the blogosphere but as a corporate communication channel.

Even now, businesses that were initially reluctantly evaluating RSS are beginning to realize the power and benefit of the RSS information avenue. The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and content quality consistent.

Like the Internet when it first started, blogs were emboldened by the "cool factor". As the novelty of being new and cool wears off, Internet webmasters and bloggers alike are realizing that maintaining a website or blog is time-consuming. "Coolness" often wears off if a channel is not monetized. With the ease of blogging and the array of blogs available, only a handful will be able to sustain fresh, constant, unique content and generate any sort of reasonable or significant revenue. As a result, blogs as we know them today will fade into the background, with many blogs being abandoned.

RSS, being a tool that saves Internet surfers time and allows webmasters to re-purpose and re-package existing and new content will, in my opinion, continue to thrive. A business effectively using RSS can bring new site visitors, increase search engine positioning, and generate product interest. The flexibility of RSS as a communication medium and the expansion capabilities of the enclosure tag will allow RSS to flourish as an online marketing tool. Each day businesses are adopting new uses for RSS, and users are becoming accustomed to skimming content that *they* choose in a single centralized location.

As businesses adopt RSS and consumers experiment with feeds, the popularity of RSS will grow. Ultimately, consumers are the driving force behind technology. The convenience of RSS and increased popularity will set a precedent for consumer expectations. Businesses using RSS as a communication vehicle are able to create keyword-rich, themed content, establishing trust, reputation, and ongoing communication with current and prospective customers.

The big consumer benefit to RSS is that consumers opt-in to content of interest, totally controlling the flow of information they receive. If the quality of the content in the feed declines, users simply remove the feed from their RSS reader and they will not receive any additional updates from that source. The RSS reader acts as an aggregator, allowing users to view and scan multiple content streams in a timely fashion.

Consumer expectation will drive businesses that are slow to adopt. Ultimately, RSS will be a standard, like email addresses and websites are now a "must" for businesses. RSS feeds will join their ranks.

Unlike blogs, businesses can easily justify RSS feeds, as they will be increasing customer and corporate communication. RSS will create new revenue channels. RSS has the potential to help companies develop strong relationships with consumers and create brand loyalty. RSS Feeds will draw existing customers and prospective clients, translating to a new or renewed income stream. Businesses using RSS feeds as a communication medium to notify interested customers of specials, discounts, product announcements, technical support tips, news and industry studies will ultimately sustain RSS as a viable and valued communication medium.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com/ [feedforall.com] software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net/ [notepage.net] a wireless text messaging software company.

WHORE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113726)

hey whore hows the whoring?

the site seems perfectly speedy to me...

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113918)

Please mod parent up, as grandparent is a real karma whore; the site hosting the article is not slow at all (and I'm in Great Britain).

Advertising (3, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113660)

> The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive
> will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and
> content quality consistent."

You sure? Between RSS feeds and Firefox's Adblock plug in I hardly see any adverts these days! Having said that, I'd like some way of having Firefox automatically select the `printer happy` version of a story, as they're entirely free of ads most of the time.

The Future is: Blogging for Aliens ;-) (1)

Digitaler Lumpensamm (901282) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114122)

MindComet Launches BloginSpace.com: Free Service Transmits Blogs Into Space. "We strongly urge our users to refrain from language or content designed to provoke our alien neighbors. We hope that our bloggers understand the importance of keeping our message positive." http://www.mindcomet.com/press/pressreleases/2005/ bloginspace/ [mindcomet.com] http://obacht.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Advertising (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114199)

Yes. You're using RSS and an RSS Feed reader to avoid as many adverts as you can, and increase the amount of interesting, informative content you see. This is exactly what the quote meant.

This post brought to you by my sponsor (2, Insightful)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113667)

keep advertising to a minimum? I think not. The best we can hope for is far more targetted ads...

Re:This post brought to you by my sponsor (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113770)

keep advertising to a minimum? I think not. The best we can hope for is far more targetted ads...

You say that with resignation, like it's a bad thing. Would you rather that the people who actually produce all of the content that everyone wants have no way to cover the costs of their efforts, obtain health insurance, or go on a vacation once in a while? Everyone seems to want some ad-free, subscription-free paradise where they get all in the info and entertainment they could ever want, packaged up just for them, at no cost. It's not just that it's unrealistic, it's that it suggests a serious disconnect between the people that consume things and the realities of producing/distributing what they consume, and what it takes to allow talented, dedicated people to dedicate their waking hours to creating it. Targeted ads are probably one of the very best approaches to keeping the content producers happily producing without everything being subscription-based and/or DRMed past some threshold of pain. And the more targeted, the more likely it is to be the ideal mix for everyone involved.

Re:This post brought to you by my sponsor (2, Interesting)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113892)

I'd rather have targeted ads than scattershot, as well. The biggest consideration, however, is how much information I'm giving up in order to be "targeted". Something as simple as a "thumbs up/down" on ads or (more likely usable) content might provide a good model.

Re:This post brought to you by my sponsor (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114043)

You are touching on some deep economics concepts here, and I can't say that I have a full understanding (who does anyway) of it, but here are some thoughts.

You correctly point out that without customers for a product or service, those that are providing that product or service won't have enough revenue for the things they want. Now, which is better for society: to institute advertising to convince people to become customers, or to use marketing to find out what types of products or services will gain you customers? I don't know if this can be answered because how do you define "better for society" in this situation? Here's an example: I basically throw out every circular I get in the mail - I'm talking print material that I get at least 4 out of the 6 days mail comes in a week. In my mind, this is a great waste of paper and energy to produce, as those circulars will not get me to buy any more than I would have without them (they might, at best, get me to purchase a certain brand over another with a coupon - if I were already planning on making a purchase). So what would be better - to not hire folks to make those circulars and use less resources and drop prices so I can buy other things, or keep those people employed and sustain the "advertising tax" on all the products/services I use to subsidise these people? I would rather those people not be stuck in advertising and doing neat research or something, and having more money in my pocket to buy the things that the displaced advertisers develop. Hopefully this discourse was not too elementary and my point wasn't lost in the details.

The real problem I see is that very few people are willing to displace themselves to go out on a limb to provide something for which the number of customers is unknown; indeed the system makes this difficult (with things such as health care, as was mentioned by the parent). This leads me to believe that people find living in a system known to be wasteful (in an economic sense here but I believe this applies to things like politics and morality as well) to be better than taking a risk to improve the system. I have not yet seen any good ways in which to encourage this behavior, though I'm doing the best I can at figuring out how to start some projects on my own and "take the risk" so to speak.

Re:This post brought to you by my sponsor (1)

lightningrod220 (705243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114094)

I think people are getting sick of ads, to the point that they will go elsewhere for it. Recently, I went to see Batman Begins in the theater, and the movie didn't start until 32 minutes after the posted time. What was keeping it? Ads, ads, and more ads! They even had a really irritating commercial for Fanta. Two families in the front of the theater basically said "screw this" after about 20 minutes, and walked out. I can imagine their irritation trying to get their money back, but it's just easier to pirate the movie and watch it on the computer than it is to sit through a half-hour of ads after paying out the nose for the chance to see the movie. Some DVDs are trying to force me to watch the previews on the disk before I can get to the menu now! I will not purchase a disk that does that, and if I have paid money for it, I ask for a refund. You can imagine that by the time people have paid for such garbage, they won't want it in the free stuff, either.

If the whole current internet model went to hell.. (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114262)

Why would I care? Why would any geek care? The infrastructure is in place. The commercial vendors that drove it can go to hell at this point for all I care.

10 years ago we wanted the infrastructure investment. It's already done. I don't want their content, truthfully. The stuff on Usenet was interesting enough if I was concerned what other people thought.

Internet advertisers are selling me and my family _nothing_. If this causes them to disappear, great, i'm happy about it.

Technology Or Message? (4, Insightful)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113668)

This is the old "push versus pull" marketing discussion. Are people tired of push communications, where their email inboxes fill up with garbage? Absolutely. But the real question is how to enact a "pull" distribution system that also sells stuff. The author seems to make the point for directly replacing newsletters and other corporate communications with RSS feeds. sounds good, but I don't think it's the complete picture. The basic problem is one of personality -- most corporate communications are about as personable as a TV commercial. Impersonal works great when you're mass-distributing the message, but from a pull standpoint I think the format and method of content creation will need to change, not just the technology. My two cents.

Robot Soccer Champions by 2050? [whattofix.com]

Re:Technology Or Message? (1)

dan the person (93490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113825)

RSS can contain links to a web page.

A web page can be as personal or impersonal as the author wants.

Just cause blogs are personal doesn't mean all content linked to by RSS has to be

future of slashdot - age and IQ limit for modding (-1, Flamebait)

hilaryduff (894727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113676)

losers.

Ad blocking? (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113702)

I've noticed that a lot of RSS providers, Slashdot included, already put lots of Ads into their RSS feeds.

I use Firefox with AdBlock for browsing and Thunderbird for RSS viewing, which hosts the pages. Has anybody successfully blocked ads with Thunderbird using a plugin?

Re:Ad blocking? (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113792)

I'm wondering if what is meant by the article is that RSS feeds will allow marginally interested potential consumers to easily keep track of product updates, costs, and evolutionary cycles for products.

Interested in DAPs? Subscribe to an aggregate feed that links to the corporate blogs of the top ten DAP producers and google through them for information pertinent to you. It's unobtrusive advertising always available to you. That way, big companies can avoid spamming, which they currently do, and the companies that establish the best relationships with their consumers generate a word of mouth that will translate into sales.

Maybe your purchase of a flat screen is dependent on the companies official stance on exploited labor. That stuff is probably on their blog.

Maybe you want Dallas Maverick season tickets, but only if you get a good sense of the team's direction from the owner's mouth. Go to Mark Cuban's blog (www.blogmaverick.com btw).

I didn't read the article though, so maybe I've got it all wrong.

Re:Ad blocking? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113812)

Has anybody successfully blocked ads with Thunderbird using a plugin?

Right, because for God's sake, we wouldn't want the people producing the material you're consuming to actually cover their overhead or (gasp!) see their pursuit as a way of actually improving their lifestyle or anything Evil like that. It's completely reasonable for a distributor of free (to you) material to look to inline ads as way of offsetting their costs. Yeah, it's text. But bandwidth still isn't free (nor is office space, employee health insurance, etc).

Re:Ad blocking? (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113872)

Just because I don't look at them doesn't mean I don't download them. I have AdBlock set that way.

Re:Ad blocking? (3, Insightful)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114168)

Free markets would balance this out; advertising makes it not a free market. Here's why:

If the [content providers] did not get revenue from advertising, if I didn't pay the [content providers] they would have to stop producing it so I would lose the use of the [content]. If I didn't value this [content] in the first place, as indicated by me not paying, I can't complain that it went away. If, however, I want it to stay, I should be willing to pay for it directly, not indirectly through "advertising tax".

Now, with advertising, who are [content providers] really serving? In a round-about way they are providing [content] to people, but if they lost advertising [revenue] they'd go out of business. So, in reality, these [content providers] are simply subcontracted advertisers, using [content] to get people to view ads. This is a disturbing business model, not because it doesn't work but because it allows people to get the idea that things are free. It's a great ruse by the Big Companies to have you pay to [see stuff] you want (the [content]) through a middle man (the Big Companies) while they (the middle men) take out a cut. It would be far more economically efficient to simply pay the [content provider] in the first place and cut out the middle man.

Note that I don't think the above discussion applies to informational websites by Big Companies about their own products; it is understood that part of their product or service is making you known about it. Now, if I went to, say, Intel's website to look up reference information for a chipset and had to see or block or whatever advertisements for Pepsi, I would seriously wonder about what is going on at Intel's web department.

Re:Ad blocking? (1)

GraemeL (30045) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114100)

You might want to look at Bloglines [bloglines.com] . It's a free, web based, RSS aggregator.

This has the advantage of remembering which articles that you've already seen if you view your feeds from multiple locations. As it's web based, your Firefox AdBlock is built in.

It also offers a simpler interface designed for mobile devices if you have the capability of accessing the web on the move.

The return of the Push Internet... (4, Interesting)

Woodie (8139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113712)

Wow -

I guess it's true, pop will eat itself. Remember when "push" internet was all the rage? Well, we all knew it wasn't really "push" at all, more like a periodic polling of "channels" of information. For a while there, Internet Explorer had a "channel subscription" feature. And there were all sorts of silly little news-ticker applets you could download and install, and then configure to pull various topics to you.

Hey wow look! It's a brand new wheel! It's round like the old one, and goes round and round like the old one.

Re:The return of the Push Internet... (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113757)

It's funny, thinking back to when I first used Win98 and saw all of that useless crap come up on my Active Desktop.

Here we are in 2005, and I'm subscribed to 25 news feeds :)

Re:The return of the Push Internet... (1)

birder (61402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113916)

I'm the opposite. I actually really enjoyed PointCast back in the day. And now I'm completely disinterested in RSS feeds.

Re:The return of the Push Internet... (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113843)

This shows that sometimes, a hyped name and a lot of marketing and media attention actually hurts a technology.

Re:The return of the Push Internet... (0, Troll)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114370)

No, it was going to be true push. RSS only uses a polling mechanism because of the thousands of idiots who think NAT and firewalls are a good idea. There are protocols in place for real push tech, and it would work better than the current RSS model.

RSS will not replace mailing lists.. or forums (2, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113722)

RSS is purely one-way communication. It's like that locked newsboard in the cafeteria and quite unlike the refrigerator with magnets.

RSS will work for announcements - which is what it's being used for. Mainly news, notifications and other random communication. Or more correctly content distribution via a pull model. You can rest assured that RSS along will not create a community like the blogosphere. It needed readers and commentors to make it work. See slashdot for example - I read it purely for the comments (like that old playboy T Shirt).

Stuff like RssTorrents or Yahoo maps using GeoRss. Face it people, RSS could be the usenet of the modern world - but there's a catch - you can't post !!.

Re:RSS will not replace mailing lists.. or forums (2, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113853)

That's solved the same as elsewhere - with a web front-end. A coupled RSS-feed and web-front would be a fine way to run a nice hybrid between a web-forum and an IRC chat. You'd get Fark threads from hell.

Re:RSS will not replace mailing lists.. or forums (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113858)

That's the point. I think they plan on using RSS for blogs. You'll RSS corporate blogs to establish relationships with individuals representing corporations and the corporations themselves.

It will be a blogosphere, but a corporate to consumer paradigm as opposed to a gazillion long term bloggers.

Point to note, many early adopter bloggers I know of no longer blog.

corporations can blog forever. they need to innovate to stay pertinent, so as long as the company is viable, so is its blog.

Re:RSS will not replace mailing lists.. or forums (1)

vinohradska (713189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114195)

Point to note, many early adopter bloggers I know of no longer blog.
And many people who start pen and paper diaries on January 1st, have nothing to say more than "I ate pasta for lunch today" by January 5th.

Pointcast (1)

Webs 101 (798265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113724)

As RSS has risen in prominence, the only thing I have been able to think of is how hard the folks behind the defunct "push" company PointCast must be kicking themselves.

Re:Pointcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114380)

We talk about this all the time! What ever happenned to those guys anyways?

RSS Future Is Not Blogs, Eh? (1)

vain gloria (831093) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113725)

Asa Dotzler [mozillazine.org] must be damn pleased to be ahead of the game.

wrong assumption (5, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113729)

The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and content quality consistent.

Except that this is the opposite of what most media-driven corporations are about. They want you to see ALL the ads, to the point where they want to make it illegal to skip over them.

Typically, they don't care so much about the QUALITY of the content, but its CONSISTENCY. Any decent webfarm can do that.

Look at Coca-Cola or Pepsi or Sony. They want to bombard you with ads, over and over again, forever. They're not going to allow you to select only the ads with the hot chicks, or turn ads off after 9pm.

Re:wrong assumption (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113871)

They're not going to allow you to select only the ads with the hot chicks, or turn ads off after 9pm

Sure they are (they don't really have a choice)! Just don't patronize blogs or other free resources that support ad models you don't like (like overpowering Pepsi placement, or similar). There - they're turned off. The ol' invisible hand will find the sweet spot, and feedback to content providers telling them that they're 10% more ads away from losing their audience will definately alter their cost/benefit analysis of which ads they run, what they charge the advertisers, and so on.

Blogs and communication (1)

HMC CS Major (540987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113737)

You can use RSS as a communication medium within blogs. For example, I likely don't care about every blog entry posted by a certain user [vobbo.com] , but I may care about those that involve their new baby:

http://www.vobbo.com/feeds/search/tristen/rss.xml [vobbo.com]

By incorporating some intelligent thought into the XML generation process (in this case, arbitrary/dynamic feeds based on URL), you can get the great communication tool out of the blogging systems, too.

Why? (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113745)

Why would media and advertising want people to choose their content? Don't they want to tell us what they want us to see? This doesn't seem to mesh with their game plan.

Let me break it down for ya'll (-1, Troll)

cmdrTacyo (899875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113752)

They be contemplatin the future of RSS
So slashdot put it up no stress
Hope I get modded good god bless
Karma whorin's fo' losers who can't pass the test
Cause when it comes to slashdot rappin I'm da best
Cause it's tac-YO and you all know

Return Of The Son Of Push (4, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113754)

Something about this reminds me of the bad old days of Active Desktop and Netcaster, "push" technologies that were supposed to revolutionize the way people worked on the Internet - and quickly faded into obscurity.

Corporate RSS can work, but it needs to be less annoying than push technologies were. The problem is that once RSS gets integrated into Longhorn everyone and the dog will use it just like "push" technologies - "pushing" annoying ads into everyone's faces and "pushing" the signal to noise ratio down into nothingness.

Re:Return Of The Son Of Push (1)

oscarm (184497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114024)

why is this insightfull. If a feed is full of noise/ads that it annoys you, wouldn't you unsubscribe? This is just complaining for complaining's sake.

Re:Return Of The Son Of Push (1)

samael (12612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114130)

So don't subscribe!

I subscribe to around 50 different feeds, ranging from comics to news, and nobody made me sign up to any of them! If they stop being interesting, or start pushing obtrusive ads I'll drop them like any other information resource I don't want.

What they're trying to say (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113776)

RSS is the new spam.

Re:What they're trying to say (3, Interesting)

scrotch (605605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113960)

I agree. But it won't last.

With email spam, a business has your email address (think large opt-in companies rather than viagra selling spam worms). They can potentially use your email address to find out more about you - where you live, what you earn, and other demographic information. That lets them target ads to you. You get ads more likely to make you act the way they want you to.

With RSS feeds, they know nothing about you (except an IP address at best). They can't target you. They don't know who they are. If you don't come back to the feed because you drop your subscription, they don't know why... Actually, they don't even know that. They don't know what the turnover is. They have no way of gauging the effectiveness of the feed. They can tell how often it's accessed, but there's little to no accurate way they can tell what drives sales.

You can do that with email, just as you can with physical mail. You send one version to half of your accounts, and another version to the other half. Watch your sales and see who buys more.

Does anyone think big business will buy in to a model with no feedback for the long term?

authenticated RSS? (1)

rjnagle (122374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114326)

The answer is simple. Create an rss reader that first authenticates your membership so you can receive the feed.

That way, you get demographic information, possibly subscriptions and possibly some tracking mechanism for feed traffic.

Right now, rss feeds are open. How long will that last?

Re:What they're trying to say (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114471)

They can use a redirector or parameter to tell how many hits on the URL are from RSS, like the ?from=rss slashdot uses. Then have the server use a straightforward tracking cookie or link it to that person's existing one, and voila (sp?).

Re:What they're trying to say (1)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114492)

This is a good point. Despite all of the talk of "push" technology RSS isn't really pushed. It's an automated pull technology. When you "subscribe" to an RSS feed the only thing you are really doing is telling your application (the RSS reader or aggregator) to go to a specific URL and download the XML content that can be found there.

In other words your subscription to an RSS feed is roughly analogous to bookmarking a popular web page.

There are, of course, mechanism where attributes of the RSS feed can tell the reader how often to access the URL automatically (e.g. the RSS 0.91 skipDays or RSS 2 ttl tags) but that's really controlled on the client. 20 minutes with Perl or Ruby and you can write yourself a RSS reader that ignores these tags and queries once a minute or once every 20 days.

RSS for advertising (4, Interesting)

scrotch (605605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113795)


So, the author (who sells RSS software) suggests that companies create PR/advertising feeds and that people will sign up for them? Interesting. Not very different from email lists except that customers could actually unsubscribe. Great for the customers, and legit opt-in businesses stop looking like spammers. I don't think I'll be signing up for them, but I'm sure someone will want to subscribe to Best Buy's marketing list.

But that's totally different than most blogs. Blogs are about self-publishing for people that don't create full websites. They're not for advertising a business unless the business can't afford a cheap webmaster.

Blogs as content sources and RSS as advertising feeds have totally different purposes. One won't replace the other, because they don't do the same thing.

And RSS won't help content publishers (like many bloggers and newspapers) because it circumvents advertising. Great for the customer, bad for the revenue stream. Unless you build so much trust and traffic through RSS that you get more traffic to your website. But how do you advertise the RSS feed to people that don't visit your website?

Personally, I don't see RSS being that revolutionary. But then I'm not selling it.

End rambling.

Advertising with RSS Isn't Hard (1)

jubei (89485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113994)

It wouldn't take much to insert advertising in RSS. Every third or fourth 'story' could be a link to an advertiser.

If you only inserted ads when new content was available, it wouldn't even annoy people very much, as it would not flag the channel for new content when there is only a new ad.

Re:RSS for advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114337)

Not very different from email lists except that customers could actually unsubscribe. Great for the customers, and legit opt-in businesses stop looking like spammers.

This is exactly why my company is starting to use RSS with some of their customers - it's like email lists, but easier to unsubscribe, potentially less intrusive... we're basically offering a secondary option in addition to email lists, so people can use one, the other, or both.

Re:RSS for advertising (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114545)

And RSS won't help content publishers (like many bloggers and newspapers) because it circumvents advertising.

RSS does not circumvent advertising, it's easy to drop an ad in an RSS feed. What you meant to say, I think, was that blogging circumvents advertising. Which has nothing to do with RSS as a delivery mechanism and everything to do with the ideology of the "it's my voice and I won't let it appear to be biased" authors.

Imagine, for a moment, the perfect ad targeted to the perfect audience. There's really nothing wrong with that. Advertising does work, in some forms but not others. Just the other day we were all talking about Tivo's new "send my personal info to ads of my choice" feature, which people admitted to liking in small doses.

Advertising has not yet worked for RSS for a few reasons, most notably because RSS is neither email nor web page and thus neither model will work. Since it has been done badly (in general) for both, people naturally assume that when you say "advertising in RSS" you mean "bad advertising."

But that's not necessarily true. You can't really spam an RSS feed, since only the people that want it will get it. It inherently honors all "unsubs" because people just stop going to get updates. So you can logically assume that everybody getting your message has at least a passing interest in the subject. Sure, I may be anonymous to you, you may not have my demographic and thus not know whether I like to take cruises or golf or just reread Harry Potter. But how different is that from television advertising where you have to take a guess at the demographics based on the show content itself?

I think RSS is indeed revolutionary because it changes web browsing from being on the site's terms and puts it on mine. I'm telling a given site, "You summarize for me what you've got to say, and if I'm interested, I'll come check it out. If you piss me off, I'll just drop your feed and you'll never darken my door again." Sure, the latter half of that statement can be true for regular websites that I'll just choose not to visit anymore, but the first part is the revolutionary bit. I can watch 50x more sites with RSS feeds than I can by individually navigating every single one of them.

ISP, News, and more. (3, Informative)

barik (160226) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113798)

RSS can be quite useful for IT and other administrative notifications. My ISP, Pair [pair.com] , for example, uses RSS maintenance feeds [pair.com] to notify customers about about outages, maintenance, or other known problems.

RSS is serving as a vehicle for other communication mediums as well, like mailing lists and newsgroups. Gmane [gmane.org] , another service that I use quite frequently, provides RSS feeds for their technical newsgroups.

And finally, RSS is already used by most major news agencies, such as Yahoo, the BBC [bbc.co.uk] , New Scientist, New York Times, and so on.

Blogosphere attacked! (4, Funny)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113802)

Coming up on Slashdot: noted blog pundits and blogebrities alike blog their blogs out about this news that the blogosphere might be bloginalized! Blogs everywhere rise up in blogtest against this antiblog corporate movement to co-blog-opt RSS!

TrackBack (1)

This comment TrackBacked by buy c1ali$ now
buy c1ali$ now blogosphere

Blog up! (mod up) (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114000)

I blog this blogerific blogpost!

BLOGOSPHERE? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114139)

I beg your pardon, but the proper term is "Blogiverse"!

These blogheads don't even bloggin know how to be bloggin clever when making up bloggin buzzwords.

To blog with it all.

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114198)

His karma just ran over your blogma!

The most usfull thing I have found for RSS is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113824)

Recruiting sites. I am looking for a new job at the moment as my company starts off shoring. RSS with recuriting is great. I can setup searches for jobs in my area and have them updated daily

Biased What? (2, Insightful)

vethia (900978) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113833)

I'd be skeptical of the opinion of anyone who wrote an article to promote his or her own business. This article is published on a site that sells RSS feed creation services. The author is also the site's marketing director, as is clearly stated in her bio. The article is just one big ad for this site's product.

Re:Biased What? (1)

dupont54 (857462) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113919)

Mod parent up.
This article is nothing more than a pre-sale speech.

1) Create the need
2) Show products that fulfill the needs
3) Profit$$$

However I think the marketing guy should change its title. It's only provoking bloggers, but do not immediately lead potential purchasers in thinking "Hey, I can make $$$ with RSS and those guy's tools".

I don't buy it (1)

cthrall (19889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113845)

because some corporate RSS feed says it's good. If I skip ads with Tivo and use Firefox to block ad popups, why would I consciously read a corporate RSS feed (aka ad)?

I read some corporate blogs, like Raymond Chen and Larry Osterman at MSFT, because it's very high quality information for free. It doesn't change my opinion of MSFT, which is pretty neutral to begin with, it just helps me understand Windows development...which helps me do my job.

Advertisements to a minimum? (1)

kryptx (894550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113850)

Already RSS feeds themselves contain advertisements. I subscribe to at least three which have advertisements either in HTML in the feed, or as a feed item itself. Advertising isn't going to be a victim of RSS, in fact RSS seems to be just another method of advertising.

Spam spam spam (1)

hexed_2050 (841538) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113869)

Until people stop replying to the medication ads, and the scammers, spam will continue to multiply and add itself to many different communication streams.

We must begin to boycott these types of unwanted spam. Once this happens, the spam will begin to get worse, but then they will realise that people have adapted and they must adapt with them, providing targetted spam to potential clients.

Yes, the problem must get worse before it gets better.

Was the same for torrents and mp3s.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113875)

"businesses that were initially reluctantly evaluating RSS are beginning to realize the power and benefit of the RSS information avenue."

Just a few days ago we had the same story about Torrents. 5 years too late the music companies are finally jumping all over downloadable mp3s. It seems axiomatic that business is generaly too sluggish, too cautious and years behind the technology curve.
That is a sorry state for any business to be in, ruled by internal fears, conservativism and tired old shareholder interests. Business should innovate, not be hanging on the coat tails of the free software movement because they are too brain dead to run with an obviously good idea when it comes shouting in their faces. If our companies in the USA and UK can't pull their fingers out and start competing like we mean it then we deserve to lose our place in the world.

Author gets it - not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113879)

No, it's not that business is the future of RSS (because blogs can't make money). Cynically grabbing and "re-purposing" [rinses, spits] RSS content created elsewhere will only get you so far.

The article was written from the point of view of the SEO crowd, who spend all their time figuring out how to *appear* to be something other people want. They see RSS as a way to cherry-pick content produced by others. They think it's a free resource, which on the one hand they'll build their business model on and on the other hand say can't possibly survive (since no one will produce for free).

In the long run, they'd be better off finding out what people want, making it themselves, and giving it to them.

Oh well, such is the American economy. It's all a sham.

So this article is the future of advertising? (4, Interesting)

Scott Laird (2043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113887)

Let's see--it's an article on how RSS is the future of business communication, hosted on a site that sells business RSS services, written by the site's owner, and submitted to Slashdot by the author.

Then fed to me via Slashdot's RSS feed.

Yep, that's the future of advertising via RSS if I ever saw it.

Re:So this article is the future of advertising? (1)

dupont54 (857462) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113951)

submitted to Slashdot by the author Making money through RSS made simple: just post your ad on an blog and voila, free RSS ads (only works on poorly administered blogs, though).

Suitwankers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114065)

The story said that business is the future of RSS. I say, who cares what the suitwankers in the SEO crowd do?

Anybody can use RSS, not just spammers and SEO whores. If they pollute a feed with their suitwanking crap, I don't have to pick it up, now do I. And some bright nerd will figure out how to block it.

Life, and my pursuit of a spam-free net, goes on.

Re:So this article is the future of advertising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114149)

This post wins the thread.

Budgeting For RSS (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113897)

RSS subscription is one of the few techniques that can make people interested in subscribing to press releases or offer up enough order to the large amount of self-promotoion, spam, and junk mail that marketing departments churn out on a daily basis like used toilet paper.

The only people interested in the scatter-shot "show me everything from this company's PR department" are the people who are absurdly interested in the company.

  • Zealots/Fanatics - For example, Apple fans (of which I'm probably one)
  • Investors/Day Traders - Watching every scrap of news for the signal to buy or sell
  • Directors/Managers - The people evaluating the PR department's efforts with an untrained eye
RSS feeds the fans only if the business has fans and zealots already. While Hasbro, Apple, and Starbucks have a disturbingly large group of fans who would be intereseted in every PR droplet released, I doubt the Clorox company would pick up a similar RSS fanbase.

Personally, I see this as a way for PR departments to demand for budget money to pave a new yellow brick road for their company. This kind of threat to CFO's worked well prior to Y2K to demand budget expansions on this new "web" thing. It worked back in the 80's when desktop publishing made every company put out "Newsletters" even for the most absurd of businesses. Now RSS is the new technique that will be used to justify expanded technical budgets and more money for writing even more useless content and masturbatory articles of self-promotion.

Perfect vehicle for PodCasting (1)

RickySan (887756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113917)

Use a tool like WebPod Studio (http://www.lionhardt.ca/wps/ [lionhardt.ca] ) and you can see what RSS can do if applied within reason

RSS will replace the newswire, not much else... (2, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113927)

...because that's really what RSS allows you to do, run your own newswire.

It isn't a brand new medium in the least. What it does that is new, is make it easier for individuals to access "press releases" (in quotes, because with RSS and the like the press is rarely the target, the whole idea is customers reading this crap themselves) that previously only appeared on the various business PR newswire services.

RSS is about reaching a wider audience (2, Interesting)

B11 (894359) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113930)

And not only on other websites, but also on other devices.

I think this too will be eventually be spoiled by "RSS Spam," with only a couple of news/information sites left after the dust clears.

Of course this may be a viable communication tool for intra-corporate communication, being able to broadcast company "news" or other communications to employee/client computers, cellphones, blackberries, what-have-you.

RSS is a retarded waste of bandwidth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113931)

The topic pretty much says it all.

RSS is a retarded waste of bandwidth. Honestly the more people who implement it, the faster it will fail.

Atom may ultimately be more attractive (2, Informative)

Mordant (138460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113932)

for automated publish/subscribe models because it's an actual standard [ietf.org] .

RSS is more hype (2, Insightful)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113934)

RSS is more of a hype than anything else. What exactly do you understand by RSS? Its nothing but a structure that we have all agreed upon, to publish information. What makes it work is the acceptance. I can write code to extract information from a RSS document (basically XML) knowing that every RSS document will have the same structure. Now if instead of RSS it was some comma seperated file that we all accepted as the standard, my scripts will work in similar fashion. Instead of the title tag my script will look for the first value in each line. Instead of description tag my script will look for the second value in each line. So RSS is nothing more than a standard that we all have accepted.

Please dont get me wrong. As the author of Newster.net [newster.net] (yeah yeah.. this is shameless advertising) I really appreciate the establishment of such a standard. The standard is what makes the site work. My point is that RSS is very simple and sweet, and should be perceived and interpreted that way. Its a standard and not rocket science...

Re:RSS is more hype (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114013)

Exactly. It's just like all the other standards out there. It's only as useful as what it was designed to be used for. ...oh wait.

Re:RSS is more hype (1)

djeaux (620938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114305)

RSS is more of a hype than anything else. What exactly do you understand by RSS? Its nothing but a structure that we have all agreed upon, to publish information.
Kinda reminds me of the early days of the web. Remember all the hype surrounding HTML? RSS is relatively new & it's getting a lot of attention, hence, hype. I suspect that the "very simple and sweet" RSS standard will get more complicated just as soon as some folks discover they can make more money if only highly trained specialists can do the work. (It's already on its way, IMO.)

Re:RSS is more hype (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114417)

Any standard would work, but a standard was needed. The great leap was the idea of introducing a simple standard for only sending headlines and summaries. Think about it for a second. In the current world of ever "richer" web media content, what would be the first thing on someone introducing a complementary protocol's mind. Probably how to get flash working on it. It was a real insight that having a one liner and a URL for more is a very useful thing to do, most people would think such things are so trivial as to not be worth making a protocol for.

Audio RSS Browser (3, Interesting)

anthm (894202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113935)

Speaking of RSS, I just made a voice RSS Browser yesterday. The source code is available to download and the program will let you turn just about any RSS feed into an IVR in less than a minute. http://www.pbxfreeware.org/ [pbxfreeware.org]

Zonk would disagree (1)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113967)

Seeing as he pushed story after story relating to blogs
Don't believe me? Look for the magic word in the following stories or their links
One [slashdot.org]
Two [slashdot.org]
Three [slashdot.org]
Four [slashdot.org]
Five [slashdot.org]
Six [slashdot.org]
Seven [slashdot.org]
Eight [slashdot.org]
Nine [slashdot.org]
Ten [slashdot.org]
Eleven [slashdot.org]
Twelve [slashdot.org]

There's probably more but I haven't figured out how to get my own complete listing of comments yet so this'll have to do for now

Thank God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13113996)

Hopefully the future of ANYTHING is NOT blogs!

Can you imagine RSS feeds like "Today I had frozen waffles for breakfast... I have a huge crush on Alex... Like, OMGWTFLOL I have to clean up my room..."

Yawn (1)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13113998)

RSS is convenient for keeping track of news, but you'd think that these companies found a solution for Cold Fusion (nuclear physics, not the app server) with the way they tout it. Come on people, it's a XML stream that's updated with a little bit of programming/scripting magic, not something radical and new.

Blogs = Narcissism (1)

UberXY (753248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114023)

I for hope blogs have no future, because they sure have no value.

You're Money and You Don't Even Know It (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114061)

'"Coolness" often wears off if a channel is not monetized.'

Oh yeah? Or is it that if a thing really is "cool", it gets monetized (people get other people to pay for it), and things whose coolness wears off can't be monetized? Correlation is not causality, and it's a mistake to think that money is necessary for coolness. It's the other way around.

RSS is just the elegant solution for "push" (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114234)

It seems that RSS is just "push" technology souped up and much more elegant (and open) than any of the other implementations made in the mid/late 90s. I would expect that more top-down organizations like big corporations would adopt this technology.

RSS internally (1)

kmanq (818756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114273)

A company I work for is using RSS internally. We developed a RSS feed for checkout status of certain high use items. It works quite well, saves a good bit of time from having to go across the building to see if the item is in use or not. Just take a look @ my Live Book mark in firefox [spreadfirefox.org] and you have instant status.

RSS. email. (1)

donsaklad (618122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114288)

How do you use RSS with email ?...

Not Just Human-Readable Content (1)

JimmyStewart (901269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114306)

For corporate use, RSS does not have to contain just human-readable content. If the readers and publisher are in the same enterprise, you can (through suitable XML) use an RSS feed to distribute software updates or perform other IT functions.

RSS is easy to parse, easy to publish, and has many tools for manipulating it. This gives corporate IT departments a lovely framework to build upon.

jon katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114340)

...are you writing under an assumed id now?

RSS IVR (1)

bkw.org (463094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13114385)

Check this [pbxfreeware.org] out!

HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114413)

Lets add html to RSS, that would make them even better, much like it did e-mail!

RSS is stupidly inefficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13114440)

RSS is an inefficient protocol because it is POLLing and pulling the results.

RSS seems like mailing lists redone wrong. What is the advantage of RSS over a mailing list?

If one wants also a web rendering / presence of the mailing list there are plenty of handy dandy mailing list web archiving packages.
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