Two great bits of info about RSS over at Small Bussiness Trends: RSS and Marketing and Is 2005 the Year of RSS? I’m a big aggregator fan. Without my feedreader I would have a much harder time pulling together and sorting through the information I want. But I’m a geek, and I know there are tons of great reasons to be producing content as RSS that have nothing to do with information overload and trying to follow a fast moving industry. Here’s what was probably my favorite bit in there:
On the other hand, for content publishers and average Web surfers, it’s a heady time. We’re about to have a smorgasbord of choice laid at our feet. And given the price points of online services these days, many will be low cost or free.
Regardless of which companies make it, content publishers and content consumers will be better off. We’ll end up with powerful new RSS services that we can barely conceive of today, because they are still a glimmer in some entrepreneur’s eye. We will use them for marketing and public relations. And the way we access and consume online information will be revolutionized.
In many ways I find RSS more exciting than the blog phenomenom. I think RSS has even more business potential. And so far we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of what RSS can do.
I think that’s definitely true. When I take a look at the great things going on in the Podcast and Videoblogging communities I’m just blown away. The advances in these areas really have nothing to do with the advances of the tools used to make the content, it all has to do with the delivery. Internet radio has been around for a long time. The transformative piece is really RSS, the delivery mechanism that lets anyone pull together their personal set of programming from whatever sources they want automatically. It reintroduces the concept of a “channel” or “station”, but at a much different granularity than television and radio normally allow. The print parallel is the newspaper turning into your feed reader. The common thread is control for the user. That’s a good thing.
However the reasons the newspapers and television channels and radio stations existed in the first place is so that an expert could apply some degree of editorialization and enforce standards of quality. I still think that the average consumer can’t be bothered to deal with digging up feeds. The infojunkies and audiophiles and videophiles, we’re happy we can dig up exactly what we want and we’re willing to put time into it. Most people don’t want to spend that time however. They need good directories, and recommendation systems, and tools that incorporate information like attentionxml so seemlessly that no one even knows attentionxml is there (which is good, cause I don’t think I could tell you what attentionxml is if I saw it, I just know what it’s supposed to do). I do agree that RSS is more than just reading feeds in an aggregator, but part of that is because the aggregator is presently a pretty blunt tool compared to what it could be.