Sites without RSS?

Here is my bold statement:

By the end of 2006, all content on the web will be available in a subscribable format (RSS, Atom, whatever).

This is both a challenge to the industry and a firm belief that we can make this happen.

But then I see this post from Cori Schlegel. He looked at all the tech companies that presented at a conference and found that sadly, only 4 out of 32 offered their news, press releases, etc via RSS. Cory wrote:

Now, I know I’ve been drinking the kool-aid, and I really didn’t expect all of these companies to have blogs, but I thought more than 1 in 10 of participants in “a one-day showcase of early-stage innovation” would be able to see the value of providing their news, white papers, and other timely information in RSS.

I’m not sure that the world really needs to subscribe to info about some of these companies (nor do many care) but the point of RSS is that even if there are only 30 people in the world who care, let them subscribe. It’s odd if we are living in a world where traditional media companies “get it” before the tech companies do.

So, if you have a site with regularly updating content, make it available via RSS now! Its easy, some of your customers will love it, and we’ll all be one step closer to making this true:

By the end of 2006, all content on the web will be available in a subscribable format (RSS, Atom, whatever).

12 thoughts on “Sites without RSS?”

  1. Ian, Yup, I’ve been thinking about this

    Perhaps as RSS evolves, another way to ‘cut’ RSS feeds are to allow them to create customized feeds. By empowering them to select a variety of facets of information and creating a feed that best suits their needs is a concept that I’ve been thinking about.

    For example, in addition to letting them select a feed only on a product category (such as putters) also empower them to customize by other facets (such as location, novice or expert, sex, etc)

    As RSS feeds evolve to create these more targeted feeds, the accuracy of the message will be more effective for both company and customer.

  2. Scott, interesting thoughts and predictions, I agree. I’ve got some additional thoughts on how this may happen.

    Last night, at a mixer after the Streaming Media Conference in Downtown SJ, I had drinks with the VP of PM at Adamind, which is focusing on repurposing content on WAP, both rich and conventional.

    We talked about RSS, and what that means, our conversation started with what you stated above, that companies should start publishing content via RSS.

    “So, if you have a site with regularly updating content, make it available via RSS now! Its easy, some of your customers will love it, and we’ll all be one step closer to making this true:”

    The next step (as I see it) for resource restricted companies that either don’t have understanding/time to create RSS feeds is an opportunity for a content scraper that would first scrape relevant content from a site, and apply it into an RSS feed with intelligent metadata.

    Of course the devil is in the details, creating effective metadata where there might not be the greatest challenge. (look to user tagging, metadata in html, contextual reference of content)

    In closing, I agree with your statement, that a majority, if not all web content will be available via RSS, but it may not occur intentionally by a company that provides content, a service provider will likely automatically do this.

  3. Nope, won’t happen. Some online comic sites are vehemently opposed to RSS, they claim it steals their adviews or something. See the ongoing syndication wars on livejournal for a Garfield feed. But for many sites you don’t really need RSS, simple change detection is often good enough ™, see my website (linked above) for an example – most of the comics and quite a few of the other sites don’t have RSS.

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  6. Ok OK, so I need RSS on my site. I’ve already looked into it and I think I know how to do it. The problem is that the site , http://www.my1liner.com , (based on user submissions) is updated so regularly that it would have an updated stream every 2 minutes. Surely this would not be helpful to anyone? I could update it at a specified time eg. once daily/weekly but that kinda defeats the purpose of informing users of change. Any suggestions?

  7. Sorry to tell you, Scott, but much of the web is still not RSS’d. Much to my annoyance as I’m trying to find a service that will detect the change in a page so I know to go back and look – too much to see, too little sleep.

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