The 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
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
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
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.