Musings of an Internet Marketing Consultant
Musings of an Internet Marketing Consultant

Sunday, May 16, 2004

An interesting observation from today's New York Times: Twilight of the Information Middlemen

For the past few months I have found the tracking of weblogs to be a much more user friendly way of tracking not only weblogs but also many email subscriptions to information of interest. With respect to the latter, wherever an email subscription offers one of those orange "XML" or "RSS" buttons, I take that alternative as the subscription delivery option.

Automated delivery of weblog information is normally carried out through a "RSS reader" interface using the RSS protocol. Personally I use one that is actually called RSS Reader but there are potentially many others out there that perform variations on the same task.

Today's New York Times business section included an article, Techno Files: The Twilight of the Information Middlemen, on the impact of the RSS protocol's role as a disintermediation tool within the chain of information dissemination. This "RSS-based " technology threatens long standing traditions associated with research publication as well others who have traditionally made a business out of disseminating publicly funded works.

As an aside, some of these RSS readers, such as Newsgator and intraVnews, are really plug-ins for Outlook. Personally I find it more ergonomically satisfying to use an RSS reader that is independent of my Outlook setup. Easier to navigate amongst the various weblogs, less cluttered interface and faster to find information on what are the latest hot topics of general interest being discussed.

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