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Robert Scoble has been arguing that RSS has hit the mainstream after attending LIFT conference and asking how many people use RSS there. I have to say he lives in a slightly skewed version of the world. Unlike the rest of us he lives towards the leading edge of technologies.

Although I don't agree with everything that Dave Winer says about what needs to happen with RSS to make it mainstream, I do think he has a bit more of an idea of how it will need to be implemented to be used by the mainstream world. (i.e. the world that aren't techies and technomarketers/ new media peeps)

I would say that in order for the standard person to use RSS there needs to be a really simple way to hook into it that is just click to subscribe, and by that I don't mean right click and copy link, paste link into rss subscription tool. I mean click and it's added! The information that is RSS'd needs to be timely, accurate, reliable, relevant and yes readable! I have 81 rss feeds in my aggregator now. And I have to say I find it very quick to find the information that I am looking for that way, but I do think I have too many feeds in my aggregator.

What I would like to see are the useful sites like autotrader, property markets, shares, online shops etc taking this up to show the latest houses, cars, share prices and new products/ prices for things. Even better would be to be able to query cars within a certain criteria then rss to get anything that pops up within my search criteria. Now think about that in terms of say e-bay... how wicked would that be...

The day that we start using blogs and RSS feeds to communicate within and between companies is still quite a long way off, however i look forward to the day that I don't need to look at my e-mails to see who is doing what, where, when and how.

OMG!!! I sound like a new media junkie! :S I'm not honest! (I just see potential in some of these things.)

Posted on Sunday, February 5, 2006 1:45 PM New Media | Back to top


Comments on this post: RSS Has it hit the mainstream? I think not!

# re: RSS Has it hit the mainstream? I think not!
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THe only way we're going to get this is through tight browser integration. Safari is nearly there, unless you don't know what RSS means and can't tell the little blue icon is actually a button.

What we really need is a huge "Subscribe" button, not the standard feed icon (Firefox) that portrays very little information.

After we've got that we need a sensible dashboard for reading feeds in browser. All of the current in browser options are rubbish!
Left by Anonymous coward on Feb 05, 2006 2:33 PM

# re: RSS Has it hit the mainstream? I think not!
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I think any decent browser has a one click rss feed subscription button by now..?

As for reading, I find Opera very comfortable since I'm already very used to it by using it for mail (which is the same interface for rss)
Left by mattie on Feb 06, 2006 2:51 PM

# re: RSS Has it hit the mainstream? I think not!
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I heard about RSS a few years ago and only now does it seem to be coming into the mainstream. It's also big business. Look at Newsgator for example... At the company where I used to work they implemented a bespoke RSS aggregator for all employees (integrated with an intranet). Rumors were that it cost ca. $50K for the license (ca. 1000 employees). Madness!

The only way to get it into the mainstream is for developers like ourselves to approach, educate and persuade sites like the ones you've mentioned to adopt RSS.

81 feeds! Now that is a lot of reading.
I find the browser based RSS readers tiresome. I much prefer little widgets that send me small little snippits of RSS at a time, but that's my preference :)

Left by Jermaine Anderson on Feb 09, 2006 9:45 PM

# re: RSS Has it hit the mainstream? I think not!
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mm.. okay, it depends on what you call a non techie ;) but I still think rss is mainly not mainstream because of Microsoft's dominance on the pc market. So I believe it's mainstreamness (?? :)) is only a matter of a windows vista release.

I can think of an example of a nontechie using an RSS feed. My mother is subscribed to the baby-blog of my brother. The blog messages show up 'automatically' amongst her regular emails, so she's actually reading the feed. I agree it is arguable whether she understands that she doesn't get a mail but a feed notification (and she probably even doesn't remember the difference by now) and I assisted her in subscribing (2 buttonclicks were required, yes!), but still, she is reading a feed as a nontechie! =) ;)

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btw, I think you have an impressive resume ;)
Left by mattie on Feb 20, 2006 10:36 AM

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