Monday, June 26, 2006

Websites are so lame

I've heard a bunch of chatter lately about how RSS doesn't matter to mainstream web 2.0

It's not an accessible technology.

It's for techies and dorks.

I disagree.

When people talk about why RSS is so great, they usually go straight for the end user features. It's opt in. You subscribe and BANG, my blog or podcast or photos or videos come straight to you whenever I decide to send them.

Sure this is a great feature of RSS, but it's more reduntant than it is revolutionary. There's not one feature I just described that isn't also a feature of subscription emails.

Where RSS really is revolutionary is in cross platform syndication. It will change how we create, consume and recycle content. It already is.
What hyperlinking did for text in web 1.0, RSS does for content in web 2.0.
Of course... embedding and linking literally does for content what hyperlinking does for text, but that's not what I'm talking about. Hyperlinking changed the way we interact with text online and made it a fundamentally different experience than reading the printed word.

THAT's what RSS does for content. It frees your content from homepage arrest and allows it to truly exist "out there" where people actually go on the web without making you give up the branding and context that comes with quantity and consistency.

When you think about the potential of RSS, you've got to think about the middle man... the aggregator. You've got to think about the You Tube channel and the flickr photostream.

Like I said in my last post, the future of the media network is going to look more like doubleclick than like Lime. RSS is going to help those networks distribute their content dynamically, where you want to consume it. And RSS is going to help you as the user snatch a content stream you like (say you stumble across "The Office" and you love it) so you can keep consuming it on-demand.

RSS will make your website irrelevant. Maybe.


Blogger Howard Lindzon said...

I am surviving so far without RSS - so I don't know and 99 percent of my friends consider we web saavy

1:06 AM  
Blogger Adam Elend said...

I find I use rss all the time in different ways.

For example, most of the time when someone asks me for a reel (I produce video), I just give them an rss feed to subscribe to - they get 6 or 7 video and audio samples that they can download, plus I can provide information on each one, and I can mix video, audio, text - I can attach photos.

Much more efficient and dynamic than a dvd reel.

But overall, I'm talking about cross platform use - which is the way every syndication technology has really thrived.

And I use RSS to read your blog, Howard, so you're not getting by without it!

9:35 AM  

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