Friday, January 06, 2006

Personal RSS Feed Collections for Professionals

I was not pleased to see this Phil Wainewright article, and that he is ready to bury RSS! In fact, not pleased would be a major understatement.

Here's the key counter argument - when RSS stops delivering in a personal way, it will have regressed to be no more than traditional syndication, which lacked user control. It's no longer revolutionary, it's passive, and only marginally more helpful.

Relying on individuals like Robert Scoble or Dave Winer to deliver a 'river of news' to you is great in terms of evaluating a source's authority, but doesn't help the user determine subject coverage. Trusted sources are also only one part of building a great feed collection. How about some consideration for topical feed digests, search feeds, and keyword filtering of aggregated RSS collections? How about pulling feeds from the dark web, and pay-per-view materials? How about vanity feeds (corporate & personal)? How about using RSS for competitive intelligence? or just keeping track friends and family (blogs, photos, events, audio, & video collections)?

I understand that there will be naysayers along the way, but do not count out Personal RSS as an impact web technology!

I'll go out on a limb here... Mark my words, personalized collections of RSS feeds via Aggregators are going to be 'life changing' for the vast majority of business professionals online. And killing the concept of personal RSS collections, in favour of creating feed mashups for various targeted groups makes little sense when the true value of this technology is in its personal delivery.

In all honesty, there is going to be a learning curve, but the time savings and current awareness benefits of RSS cannot be ignored. There will come a point (in the not-so-distant future) when not having a well designed, culled, and customized collection of RSS feeds at one's disposal will put a professional at a distinct disadvantage.

Wainewright's piece may be written towards dumbing down RSS for the masses, but that doesn't wash for those in knowledge intensive professions. And in support of 'the masses', if they can configure an email account, they can surely figure out RSS. It's way too early in this game to bury RSS. [/Rant off]


Blogger Johannes Schenk said...

I agree with Steve. Quite frankly I don't know what the RSS fuss is about that Mr. Wainwright speaks of. RSS is very easy and there is no way that I could keep track of everything that I presently do without this technology. Having said that I don't cut and paste feed url's to an agregator. I use the Firefox browser which has a built in agregator function. Get yourself Firefox, go to the feed enabled site you want, click on the little orange icon in Firefox, catalogue your feeds as you would any other bookmark. Way easier than collecting butterflies. Takes me a few minutes every day to scan, what would otherwise be several hours of web browsing.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

Go, Steve, go!

I haven't nearly gotten started exploring the usefulness of RSS.

2:15 PM  

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