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Public begins to love RSS without knowing they are using it

September 27, 2005

As a recent Fast Company article says “For a company, [RSS]( real simple syndication) is like having a direct marketing line into a customer’s life.”

Anything can be an RSS feed, from news headlines and blog updates to notifications of price changes on tickets, products, and services. For users, it’s a way to receive customized information on whatever you’re most passionate about.

Even though the vast majority of the folks doen’t have a clue what RSS is, the article says it may not matter.

…The best predictor for RSS’s success is whether more and more people use it without knowing or caring what it is.

That’s because although only a minuscule number understand RSS, an increasing number of people may be enjoying its benefits without realizing it. Thirty percent of magazine Web sites provide RSS feeds. Jupiter reports that 30% of large companies have deployed RSS feeds on their sites. The New York Times has seen page views stemming from RSS feeds increase 342% from March 2004 to March 2005, with no special effort to market RSS, according to a Times spokesperson.

Email didn’t go mainstream because people understood how data packets made their way around the Net. It happened when an email client made that technology invisible and easy to use. RSS will likely follow a similar path.

Bottom line with technology, people don’t care what it is or how it works, they just want to use things that make their lives easier. RSS makes it easier to get the info they want from the people they want it from and when they want it.

Law firms and other companies are dam fools if they don’t start getting their info out on RSS to their target audience. Blogs are the easiest way to serve up info on RSS.

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