An RSS feed which you subscribe to is your personal subscription to a service, just like email.
A private subscription service for text, audio and video content, even involving a paid subscription fee has been possible for more than a year, based upon RSS.
In a recent podcast Robert Scobles interviewed the Google Reader team, where they made clear that from the start, one of the primary features of Google Reader was the sharing of your private RSS feeds. This is with total disregard for the intended private use of the RSS content.
For years email marketing has been plagued by spam filters. Whilst they become more accurate in detecting spam content, and allow requested content to be delivered, to effectively use email for marketing, and in some cases even personal messages, you would have to use an email service such as Aweber or Getresponse to ensure your content was delivered.
RSS guarantees 100% deliverability, and because of the way RSS is delivered, it is possible to include rich multimedia content within the messages. Delivering HTML email currently is much harder than text, and there are multiple compatibility problems with different email clients, both offline and online.
RSS will soon become integrated within our daily working environments, as an equivalent to email within Windows Vista, and online applications such as Gmail and their Google Reader.
RSS Technology being Destroyed
(before it has a chance to succeed)
One good example is Feed Magic. I have been a supporter of Feed Magic for more than a year, I own a license for the script itself, and a subscription to the service.
I am an affiliate for the product, and if you decide to purchase their product, I will recieve compensation. But that is not the primary reason for this post.
But can I effectively use them as intended?
Increasingly the answer is an unfortunate… no!
I can’t use what I paid for effectively, and that is the primary reason for this post.
The more indiscriminate sharing of RSS is being encouraged, the less chance break-through technology (that would revolutionise the delivery of marketing messages and vital support information) has of succeeding.
The Google representitives in the podcast actively encouraged the sharing of linkblogs.
I freely admit that the potential of Feed Magic is in its future. It has so much potential.
It should be noted that the RSS options provided by Aweber and Getresponse are nowhere near as advanced as Feedmagic. You could achieve their RSS features just by feeding your own blog with the content from your autoresponder by email.
RSS is subscribing to content you want. There is no way to spam your RSS box. If you decide you don’t want the content, you can unsubscribe.
So Google in part, with their Google Reader and very clear philosophy in the design of the service, are destroying something that could defeat email spam forever… the potential of RSS.
Robert Scoble had the opportunity to discuss this situation with the Google Reader team. Notice when he commented to my post on Google Reader (I assume he read it, and my reply)
Robert is also still sharing content of his linkblog, without asking the owner of the content permission.
This is just one example of how great web 2.0 software can actually harm rather than promote.
Edit: The Feedmagic site was discontinued – some of the technology might have ended up in Nanacast.