Had a great, interesting conversation with Rok Hrastnik of MarketingStudies.net, who is about to release his major research work on RSS.
There is nothing like this I have seen before. This is a pretty monumental guide to RSS/Atom newsfeeds and their effective use for online marketing, business and publishing. Rok has entitled it: "Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS: A Marketer's Guide to Understanding and Taking Advantage of RSS for Marketers and Publishers".
Rok's upcoming ebook is a 360-plus pages comprehensive guide to understand what is happening with RSS today and where it will be taking us in the coming months. So, I have sat down virtually with him, and without him being able to find out until the end, I recorded a great conversation between us.
"A large percentage of your internet content is not getting delivered to your recipients due to spam filters or changed e-mail addresses, or not being read due to uncontrollabe ammounts of e-mail messages in inboxes. Chances are, up to one half of your e-mail subscribers aren't getting your messages or aren't reading them.
Consequently, your business is suffering because you are not maximizing the effectiveness of your content delivery efforts. If half of your subscribers aren't getting your content, that's 50% of lost sales and relationship opportunities. Do you dare to calculate how much that ammounts to in losses over the course of the next few years?
Not only your prospects, but your customers as well are missing out on what you have to say to them. Imagine the negative impact this has on your follow-up sales and after-purchase relationship building activities?
People are affraid of subscribing to your e-mail newsletters; they cannot control the inflow of information as it is, increasing it only means more trouble.
The US CAN-SPAM legislation is putting all legitimate e-mail publishers at risk, enforcing rules that instead of being dangerous for the real spammers actually treaten legitimate senders.
This is the internet marketing reality in 2004." (from Rok Hrastnik ebook introduction)
Can RSS save us?
A couple of months ago Rok engaged me to extract some of my own ideas on the future of RSS as he later did also with 28 other RSS pundits, technologists, users and media visionaries of all kinds.
Among them, some true visionaries and communication pioneers:
And few days ago, Rok wrote back to me:
"Truth be told, what I expected to be an about 80 page e-book with a few interviews on RSS turned out to be a 360-plus page e-book, with 28 expert and user interviews ... and with many things still left to cover.
So, it's really far from being finished, but I decided to publish it as it is
right now and then add new chapters to it and release updated versions, which
will also include workbooks, tools, additional resources and video tutorials. [hey Rok, why don't you offer a Premium edition in which to bundle my new up-and-coming version of the RSS NewsMaster Toolkit?]
What's left to do, is the heavy duty editing (editorial editing, proofreading, etc.), which I'm hoping to complete this week and have the e-book ready by the beginning of next week."
Here is my good conversation with Rok in which I explore what is really so interesting about this upcoming ebook and what are the latest trends that are emerging in the RSS space.
Me and Rok end up talking about RSS metrics, analytics and what appears to be the upcoming technology model for finally tracking (anonymous) users and actions as gathered directly from RSS feeds usage.
The secret in fact is not a secret anymore, as some companies have been long trying to measure and track RSS usage for a few months now. Namely, FeedBurner has been the most proactive in trying to develop a service allowing RSS feed publishers to better understand the size and growth of their audiences.
But just last week, a new interesting company has emerged with an official announcement and some pretty interesting stuff to talk about. The company is called Syndicate IQ (while I mistakenly refer to it as IQSyndicator in my conversation with Rok), and what it does, is exactly what Rok Hrastnik described to me in this audio conversation, without actually having known or having heard from them about it.
That tells me that the direction they have both identified is probably an interesting one. We will need to see how well it plays out, how cost-effective the initial services will be, and how usable the technologists will make them.
I am myself going to test and find out more about Syndicate IQ and let you know what I discover about it.
As a matter of fact, coming up on this channel is a Good conversation with Stuart Watson, CEO/Founder at Syndicate IQ.
Update: the first installment of my report on Syndicate IQ is published: How To Measure RSS Traffic, Clicks And Impressions: Syndicate IQ, including an interview with Stuart Watson (Jan. 20th 2005)