Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Affinity, Privacy, Trust: The Essence Of An RSS Sustainable Publishing Ecosystem

Steve Gillmor well captures some of the important issues that need to be addressed in order for news publishing tools to become more useful, and, for independent publishers, bloggers, news reporters to further improve their "disintermediating" role as direct providers of vertical commentary, news reporting, analysis or review. "In the blogosphere, and to a great extent the traditional media environment, the goal is to capture attention. In the RSS conversation, the goal is to retain the relationship." Problem is how you truly differentiate yourself, when there is so much "echoing" of each other news going on? And this is where, though with different terms and views, the emergence of a humanly-driven filtering role, more systematic and professionally inclined than the traditional stereotypical blogger, seems really to take form. I call this new emergent active news filterer and republisher/syndicator, the newsmaster. And this is where Steve Gillmor finely locks into the actual issues such newsmasters face. "If you're going to survive cancellation by acting as a filter, you have to be extremely efficient at not duplicating your subscriber's existing knowledge set. You know that feeling you get that you might have seen this episode of Law and Order, and oh, wait, saw it. Not good." The need for supportive filtering, heuristics, and other mechanisms allowing the independent publisher greater ability to create her own custom news view, are of the essence in the development of new effective tools for this sector. He goes on to list and describe some of these essential filters and heuristics that could be gradually adopted inside news aggregating/re-publishing tools. He also well explains how important it is to leverage the aggregated complementary information that can be extracted from the individual behaviour of readers on the content/newsfeeds and leading to "producing a post rank based not just on my attention but the attention dynamics of those I choose to do my filtering with and for me." Excellent. And it is here, in his conclusion that he really catches the most transformative trend surfacing through this "Why would that benefit you and the seller? Because the company could save millions on image marketing and broadcast advertising, passing the savings along to you. In essence, the contract is between the affinity group and the marketplace. The customer opts in to the RSS feed, and out if the relationship is abused. Privacy becomes a feature of the service, not a bug in the system. Trust becomes the coin of the realm in the RSS for Food ecosystem."
He really could not have sayed it better. It is now up to the product developers, to lift themselves out of the old-fashioned and restrictive mass-market metaphors they are still applying when developing strategies for these new media content publishing tools. Thanks Steve!



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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, July 20 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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