Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, October 2, 2003

The Future Of RSS

Not many of us have yet been able to familiarize themselves with RSS. This short acronym which stands for Rich Site Summary or also Really Simple Syndication is a new technology which allows Web site owners to make their content available to others in a number of new and interesting ways.

First of all, newsletter publishers, can provide their periodical load of news and articles through an RSS feed instead of sending out an email. But what's the advantage?

Users are getting wary of spam and promotions they are getting in their email inboxes. Many of them think that this is due to the fact that they have subscribed to newsletters that in turn have resold their emails to nasty advertisers. This makes people less willing to subscribe to newsletters on sites that are not fully known and trusted.

But RSS comes to the rescue.

Number one. By publishing your content also in an RSS format, users can simply "grab" the address of your newsfeed and get the periodic load of great news you send them directly inside their newsreader/aggregator if not directly inside their email. Not only. Now your posts are sent to your readers as soon as you publish them, and while you have little control over the layout and formatting of them, each one is an up-to-date reminder to your reader to come back to your site and check for more.

Privacy is guaranteed and service is improved!

Number two. If you do have, good, solid content that you publish on a daily basis, you can have other sites syndicate your news feed as part of their own news service provision to their readers. It's a win-win proposition. Those who syndicate get good headline news for free while you increase significantly your exposure, reach and authority (see an example of my Privacy and Security news feed syndicated by StayInvisible. Look on the right column for a section called "Privacy and Security - Robin Good's Feeds").

If all this sounds interesting to you, I suggest that you give a good read at my new essay "The Future of RSS - Is E-Mail Publishing Dead? RSS-based Information And News Feeds: Pros and Cons For Content Distribution Through RSS" which has just been published by Sabrina Pacifici of

To get an RSS feed of this site see the top and bottom of the home page where there are some orange tags labelled "XML". By right-clicking on them you can copy the URL of my newsfeeds, which needs to be pasted inside your RSS newsreader/aggregator. For example PC users wanting to get all my news about Online Collaboration can get place this URL in a freely downloadable RSS newreader like Newzcrawler. A Mac user wanting to be updated on my articles about Independent Publishing could place instead this URL into one of the many available Mac RSS newsreaders/aggregators.



As I am writing this article a breakthrough new online service has added a new feature allowing you to subscribe and receive any RSS feed into your own email inbox. Find out how in my latest article online "How To Receive RSS Feeds In Your Email In Four Simple Steps".

For all of you wanting to find out more about RSS, find here below the best online resources about RSS technology, newsreaders and aggregators:

  • Open Directory Project - RSS

  • Open Directory Project - Newsreaders

  • Lockergnome RSS Resource

  • RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters

  • RSS - A Primer for Publishers & Content Providers

  • How To Get Blog/Site Updates And RSS Feeds In Your Email For Free
  • How To Syndicate Web Site News Through RSS Feeds Technology

  • How to Subscribe to an RSS / XML News Feed

  • How can you subscribe to Robin Good's News?

  • Using RSS Newsfeeds

  • WebLogs Compendium - lists and describes many interesting RSS-based online tools and services.

  • RSS Info - information and best online resources and tools about RSS

    Best RSS news feeds can be found at:

  • NewsKnowledge

  • NewsIsFree - This is now both a news syndication service and a free newsreader

  • Syndic8

  • Moreover - Full list of news categories available in a RSS news feed

  • Yahoo RSS news feeds

  • RSS feeds from | CNET

    Readers' Comments    
    2003-10-07 17:55:26

    Robin Good

    Here is my answer to both:

    Sepp, the answer is no, but only if you ask anyone else outside of Jim Gray who posted the other comment.

    Jim, as I wrote to your company today, before you even made this post on
    my site I have already spent a good deal of time with your technology and have made an offer to test it out publicly on a new service I would like to introduce very soon.

    I think your technology has indeed unique points and benefits not available through competing tools.

    The issue remains of how many people can appreciate what you have been able to integrate into your tool without first trying it out.

    It is in the line of thought and marketing approach that I am offering an open opportunity for you to showcase the value of your tool to my readers.

    Here is a copy fo the message I have sent to Barbara Nachtigall at your company in response to your kind submission of your new tool announcement to me:

    "Dear Barbara,

    thank you for your kind contact ad for introducing me to this new technology.

    As you may not know I am one of the very few independent reporters dealing with new media technologies that does not work for major media conglomerates or corporate interests. You may want to check some of my references and work by looking at the best credibility source available online: Google. here is a direct link:

    I have spent some considerable time to review your information, download the free Awasu reader and to test the it across a number of situations.

    I find your product interesting and would be willing, if you would find this of interest to your marketing initiatives, to associate myself with your brand through a new project I am bringing to life.

    As I have established myself as a strong authority in the field of online collaboration outside of the enterprise/corporate market I am about to launch an Online Forum that will provide a unique venue to the SOHO market to inquire, ask and interact with experts in the online collaboration, Web conferencing and live presentation industries. The Online Forums will have all of its categories accessible as RSS feeds. Access to this forum will be open to the public, and invited experts/moderators will be industry leaders, company CEOs, journalists and independent thinkers like me.

    It is likely that due to the cross promotional and visibility interests of these experts and of the extensive promotion that will be made of this resource that a good, sustained traffic of visitors will make this new online resource a fixed reference point for them. To facilitate their discourse and interchange with it the Quikconnex system would seem to offer an edge over standard forms of keeping Forum visitors updated through email. Now, with your system they not only could be informed of the updates and posts to the categories you would subscribe to, but you could also respond or post another question directly from your email inbox, if I understand correctly.

    Well, it would certainly appear as an interesting marriage and one set to showcase how good really your technology can be in some specific situations like this one.

    Since I value this as a useful research and marketing exploratory test of your new technology I am willing to partner with you in trying this out with your support.

    If the results prove to be good, I will also be forced to write a positive review of your technology to my Robin Good extended audience which will certainly be pleased to learn about new ways in which it could capitalize of your new ideas while finding new opportunities to monetize their value.

    Let me know what you think of the above and if you are interested in making such a partnership.

    Looking forward to hear from you,"

    Robin Good
    Ideas, Tools and Resources To Communicate More Effectively

    2003-10-07 14:56:42

    Jim Gray

    Robin, read your article on Excellent summation. I did submit feedback from their site but maybe it would be appropriate to echo my comments here as well. If you'd like to see a real life example of an RSS feed that already has 2-way communications enabled, I'd encourage you to look at my personal RSS feed at As one of the co-founders of Quikonnex, I've been deep into programming a system that addresses the issues associated with communicating with large groups of people (the one-to-many aspect) and RSS provided an answer to that. However, our target market of newsletter publisher's have expectations regarding their ability to communicate with subscribers. Therefore we embedded within the RSS feeds that publishers utilizing our service have automatically generated a method of receiving immediate feedback. Not only through the commenting system provided by blogging technology, but by a secure form. Subscriber input from this form is also viewable via secure RSS. So, therefore, a publisher could very well use RSS as a 2-way mechanism. We've even gone as far as providing a simple personal URL that a publisher could distribute as a means receive information from folks not using RSS (IE, AND, we also provide detailed statistics for publishers. Yes, it is a challenge to get folks to convert from email, but with the ever increasing challenges associated with email communications, this will get easier and easier.

    2003-10-03 17:43:29


    For someone publishing their site's news using RSS, is there a way of finding out how many users have subscribed to the newsfeed?

    I am itching to know how many people are "listening in" on my rantings...

    posted by Robin Good on Thursday, October 2 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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