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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Trend: Why RSS? (Interesting Primer)

Email Morphs Into…A Feed: The Natural Progression from Email to RSS Content Distribution & Marketing

excerpts from Chris Redlitz, President of Feedster posted on
Not long ago, email was emerging as the most powerful, ubiquitous communication mechanism on the planet; it was an easy, efficient, direct connection between people, businesses and commerce. The prospects for marketers seemed grand - a communication channel with current customers and a means for acquiring new ones.As we all know, this marketer’s utopia quickly became a haven for intrusive offers, fraudulent operators, and schemers. Branded advertisers are shying away from email marketing because of the negative connotation associated with a channel fraught with spam. Consumers are becoming hesitant to subscribe to anything for fear of having their email address appear on “opt in” lists and getting caught in the spam “spiral”.

The proliferation of RSS as an outbound mechanism for content distribution continues to grow at a very rapid pace(*Feedster’s RSS index grew 500% to 20 million feeds in 2005).

There are some unique features that RSS presents:
- 100% opt in
- conduit for direct subscriber-marketer messaging
- simple opt out process
- requires no personal identification
- user control over update frequency
- cannot be externally spammed
- no limits on feed subscriptions
- appropriate for contextual advertising
- potential to reach micro audiences

What’s the attraction for feed producers i.e. news services, blogs, ecommerce companies, newsletters etc.? Feed producers (publishers) view RSS as a distribution mechanism that allows readers to subscribe to their feed and receive it directly into their portal page or newsreader. Publishers can utilize feeds as a very effective method for communicating their information and/or point of view. Because a user is subscribing directly from the content source, the feed cannot be externally spammed. So the onus is on the publisher to provide relevant content, non-intrusive advertising messages, and be respectful of their subscribers’ sensitivities. It’s easy to opt in, but also easy to opt out.

What’s the attraction for the marketer? It’s a dedicated audience of subscribers qualified by topic, a publisher’s dynamic content, and post (article) frequency. Marketers can present a contextual message embedded in the body of the feed, and track the performance of a campaign. Think about the growing inventory of feeds from blogs. Yes, this is user-generated content, which requires additional qualification, but the sheer growth numbers makes this a very interesting channel to consider.

Finally, what’s the attraction for the user? How about customization of content resources. In the near future RSS feeds will enable product updates, newsletters, MLS listings, and auctions; just use your imagination. Think about keeping tabs on your competitors with keyword-based feeds from your favorite RSS search engine.

You can reduce your reliance on email for customer retention and acquisition, and begin to utilize RSS as an alternative communication and commercial platform. Consumer adoption will reach a point of critical mass within the next 12 months and the opportunity for marketers to present targeted advertising within RSS feeds will improve in the very near future.It will soon to be time to pass the baton. Will email marketing die? No, but this new platform will morph some of that spam into ham.

Read the full monty here:


go here to download a RSS READER (for every platform imaginable)

and then munch on the tasty FALLON TRENDPOINT FEED here:

or here, bon appetite!


...or keep doing it the old school way and just enter your email into the subscription box below (to right). but at least you're eating our vegetables of knowledge, so thanx.

And see Chorney's Social Marketing 101 Powerpoint for more primer points on RSS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not think email is going away anytime soon but RSS Feeds have proven to be a great alternative to specific, unique content that I can seek/view at my discretion. I am in control. I think that is key.

Content Heavy