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

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

RSS - the new engine for virtual socialization

This RSS thing is exploding. Traffic via RSS feeds is doubling monthly. So what is it? and how does it become a socialization engine?

Dave Winer (one of the pioneers in weblogging) has started a site devoted to the community of people who create and use RSS - to explain RSS to non-technical personal. He starts off by building a definition that shows how a single format can explode into an entire community builder:

RSS is...
1. A format.
2. Content management tools that generate feeds in the format.
3. Aggregators and readers that subscribe to the feeds.
4. Search engines and utilities that crunch the information and ideas.
5. Services from technology companies like Microsoft and Apple.
6. Authoritative publications like the BBC, The New York Times, CNET, InfoWorld, PC World, Time, Wired, Salon, Yahoo, Reuters -- that distribute news and opinion in RSS.
7. Many thousands of weblogs covering virtually every aspect of life on this planet.
8. A vast and growing community of thinkers, writers, educators, public servants, and technologists.

The revolution of RSS is what people are doing with it, what it enables, the way it works for people who use technology, the freedom it offers, and the way it makes timely information, that used to be expensive and for the select-few so inexpensive and broadly available.

RSS is the next thing in Internet and knowledge management. It's big. A lot bigger than a format.

This is the inaugural post for a new website devoted to the community of people who create and use RSS. It's just a beginning.

Let's have fun!

Then Robert Scoble talks about how RSS is becoming a community socialization tool:
It also does something even more crazy than that, though. It builds community. In a way that opening a Web forum or joining a newsgroup never has. Why is that? Because people love being noticed. Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati, told me once that getting a link is like receiving a gift. It's a social gesture.

We live in a world where communications is divided along the lines of asynchronous and synchronous activities. RSS is rapidly becoming the engine driving personalized asynchronous communications; look for VoIP services to become the engine driving enhanced personalized synchronous communications.

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