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RSS as a Change Agent


To better understand how RSS is changing the way companies and individuals deliver and consume content on the macro scale, let us first remember how content is traditionally delivered and consumed.

People subscribe to e-mail newsletters or e-mail update services to get content delivered directly to their inboxes. It's (or better yet, was) convenient, easy and simple.

But, in order to get content delivered to their inboxes, they must first reveal their e-mail addresses, which are basically ID numbers that allow anyone who knows them to send whatever they like to these ID numbers.

In a perfect world people would only receive the content that they requested and only from the people that they wanted to hear from --> the people that can provide them with relevant information, specific to their interests and current situation.

But this is not a perfect world.

Since the "ID number" allows anyone to contact anyone, people have very little control over who actually does contact them and what information they send them.

In a way, it's a "perfect democracy" that just doesn't work. Because, in reality, we don't want to hear from everyone that thinks they have something to say to us. In reality, we only want to hear from a very limited circle of people and receive very limited types of content categories.

But, for the sake of the argument, let's presume that we are actually getting information only from the people that we want to hear from. Unfortunately these people still have the power to send us whatever information they like, not just the information we want to receive from them. Basically, they have the power to push any kind of content to our e-mail inboxes.

We can either unsubscribe, if they give us this opportunity, from their e-mail service or continue to receive their content as it is. One of the problems with this is that unsubscribing can be a rather tedious process, definitely not a two-click affair, and some people even doubt that the unsubscribe feature will actually work.

This is our reality.

We are, more or less, forced to receive content we mostly don't want to receive, and for the content that we do want to receive, we also have to put up with much information we don't want to get.

This is the "democratic" nature of e-mail and many marketers and publishers have been abusing it for a long time. It's not the medium's fault of course; it's just that people are who we are.

And now enter RSS in to the picture, a "new" channel that users need to proactively add to their content consumption mix, including proactively adding content publishers they want to hear from, thus eliminating the "democracy" of e-mail, conversely, limiting our "content diet" only to the publishers we actually want to hear from.

But there's more.

One of this channel's characteristics is that it's extremely easy to remove content publishers you don't want to hear from.

Now, all of us have very limited time for online content consumption. It's always been this way, but with e-mail content consumption we usually don't even bother ourselves with unsubscribing from the content we don't want to receive, since we already receive hundreds of SPAM e-mails per day anyway, so why bother with unsubscribing from a few e-mail lists and the few additional e-mails we receive per week. Most people don't even know anymore what they subscribe to since they have no unified view of all of their e-mail subscriptions.

However, this new channel, RSS, is quite different. Here you have an exact view of what you subscribe to. You see exactly which content publishers are on your list and you can remove any of them immediately, without even a second thought. It's quick, easy and comfortable.

Compare this with the relative difficulty of unsubscribing from e-mail lists, and even with the e-mail mindset where you just don't care to be bothered anymore with unsubscribing, since you don't have a view of what you subscribe to anyway.

This new channel takes the democracy right out of content delivery for publishers and brings it back for end-users.

If RSS content publishers want to keep and grow their readership, they cannot afford to do the things they could have easily been doing with e-mail.

Instantly, all the content needs to be highly relevant. You can no longer afford to send out blatant advertising messages or too much content that is of little interest to your target audience. If you want to survive you need to tailor all of your content specifically to the needs of your target audience.

RSS content delivery must in nature be more relevant than content delivered by e-mail.

RSS content publishers know this and most are providing exactly this, very relevant content, usually more relevant than what most e-mail publishers are doing, since they are taking in to consideration the specific characteristics of the channel.

And there are more publishers like this every day. And eventually, even those that use both e-mail and RSS to deliver content, change the way they are delivering content using e-mail. Their entire content production becomes more relevant to the user's needs.

It's quite easy to imagine the larger-scale implications of this.

Since more and more publishers are starting to offer more relevant content, that also raises the bar for other content publishers, even those not using RSS.

Our expectations are increasing every day. We are no longer content with mediocre content, we actually expect and even demand more relevancy.

And so the circle is completed.

Early RSS publishers have started raising our expectations of what to expect from internet content and have thus affected our internet content consumption habits. Users, in affect, are starting to demand more, which in turn forces other publishers to comply with the increased demands.

This process has just begun and still has a long way to go, but it has begun and will not stop.

Copyright 2005 Rok Hrastnik

Rok Hrastnik is the author of »Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS«, acclaimed as the best and most comprehensive guide to RSS for marketers by leading RSS experts. The complete guide on RSS for marketers: http://rss.marketingstudies.net/index.html?src=sa12


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Sun. August / 25 / 2019

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Pranab Mukherjee elucidates constitutional values to RSS, but did he also do an Advani on Congress? - Times of India
Pranab Mukherjee elucidates constitutional values to RSS, but did he also do an Advani on Congress?  Times of India

Having moved from Prez to citizen, on Thursday Pranab Mukherjee turned philosopher-politician at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. He reminded all present, ...


James Margaris's Blog - An Artifact Card Review - Gamasutra
James Margaris's Blog - An Artifact Card Review  Gamasutra

Since it was announced I've followed Artifact with the intention of writing about it. It's right in my wheelhouse - not only do I play card games but I worked on a ...


An enigma called Rahul Gandhi - Times of India
An enigma called Rahul Gandhi  Times of India

The Minority Department in the Congress party organisation is charged to look after the affairs of minorities that include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, ...


Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

Security Bloggers Network has been promoting and distributing Cybersecurity news and blogs from some of the leading experts in the security industry for over ...


Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Crowdfunding and Video Games: 2019 Mid-Year Update - Gamasutra
Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Crowdfunding and Video Games: 2019 Mid-Year Update  Gamasutra

What is the state of Kickstarter for video games in the first half of 2019?


Ashley Kreuer's Blog - Setting a release date for #Frostbite - Gamasutra
Ashley Kreuer's Blog - Setting a release date for #Frostbite  Gamasutra

#Frostbite is finally at the point where I can realistically set a release date. Honestly it feels so weird. I've been working on this game for quite awhile now and it is ...


Female Representation in Video Games: How Are We Doing? - Gamasutra
Female Representation in Video Games: How Are We Doing?  Gamasutra

In recent years, the face of the average video game consumer has changed. About 40% of regular video game players are women, but gamers are often stuck ...


7 Proven Strategies to Promote Your Podcast in 2019 - G2
7 Proven Strategies to Promote Your Podcast in 2019  G2

In fact, over the past few years, the audio phenomenon has been continuously on the rise. In 2018, more than 12 million people listened to a podcast for the first ...


What to Expect from Hearthstone in World Cyber Games 2019 - Gamasutra
What to Expect from Hearthstone in World Cyber Games 2019  Gamasutra

World Cyber Games, the “Olympics of Esports”, had announced that Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone is one of the official game titles in the.


The State of the Algorithm: What's Happening to Indies on Steam? - Gamasutra
The State of the Algorithm: What's Happening to Indies on Steam?  Gamasutra

The business of making indie games has always been difficult, but recently it's become a lot harder. On October 5th, Valve introduced changes to Steam.


Katarina Sostakova's Blog - AN ADVENTURE CALLED DATA ANALYSIS - Gamasutra
Katarina Sostakova's Blog - AN ADVENTURE CALLED DATA ANALYSIS  Gamasutra

What it is like to work as a data analyst in a free2play game dev studio? Walk through the week of Katarína and get a grip of her adventurous work!


Top CRM Blogs of 2018: Countdown, Part 1 - CRM Buyer
Top CRM Blogs of 2018: Countdown, Part 1  CRM Buyer

After several years of instability on this list, 2018 saw things settle down a bit. In past years, blogs would make the list for a flurry of great posts one year, then ...


Vasiliy Sabirov's Blog - 10 useful links for game developers - Gamasutra
Vasiliy Sabirov's Blog - 10 useful links for game developers  Gamasutra

We at devtodev collected 10 great links which could be useful for game analysts and game developers and tried to organize them in the most logical way.


Move or Die and its 5+ Year Journey to the PlayStation 4 - Gamasutra
Move or Die and its 5+ Year Journey to the PlayStation 4  Gamasutra

From “flashy” beginnings to the development swamp and finally launching a console game, this is the story of how Move or Die was made.


How single leaders will define the 2019 election: They could be decisive in battles for more than a third of the Lok Sabha seats - Times of India
How single leaders will define the 2019 election: They could be decisive in battles for more than a third of the Lok Sabha seats  Times of India

Given how closely Indian life is bound to family, the unrelenting pressure on young people to marry, and the industry that orchestrates 10 million weddings a ...


Content Syndication Basics: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How - Search Engine Journal
Content Syndication Basics: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How  Search Engine Journal

Is *content* syndication right for you? Let's look at the basics of *content* syndication, what it is and isn't good for, and some tips for getting started.


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