RSS Isn’t Just For Blogs

RSS isn’t just for blogs. In fact, RSS is for so much more than blogs. Really Simple Syndication is a protocol that can and will be used for delivering any type of incremental content.

On the consumer end of things, there are so many pieces of information that users in the future will be able to receive on a timely basis – audio tracks, announcements about bestselling books, coupons or sales, relevant news articles, etc. The list is nearly endless. (Rok Hrastnik posted a great list of potential ideas of how RSS could be used for a marketing department communicating with its outside constituents.) User-generated microcontent is another great candidate for syndication through feeds. Already users can be updated on answers to questions like “Any good recipes for salad dressing?” and “What should I know about traveling in Australia?” at Helium Knowledge. As microcontent engines develop and evolve towards critical mass, these information nuggets will become increasingly relevant and timely for the end-user. And consumers won’t just receive RSS feeds on their PC, but also on any “connected” device, like mobile phones.

And in the enterprise, the number of use-cases is also lengthy. The NewsGator Enterprise product page suggests that corporate users will receive content from “applications, collaboration suites, content management systems, and portals.” All of that is in addition to outside third-party feeds entering the enterprise.

Others agree – Richard MacManus says, “Initiatives involving structuring or extending RSS will further push non-blog uses of RSS in the coming months.”

Bottom line: While blogging has brought RSS to the forefront, the myriad of other RSS uses will lead the Internet’s transformation towards the true Incremental Web.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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