Friday, March 25, 2005

RSS ... In Search of a Reason to Be

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is a tool in search of a market. This tricky piece of technology serves up a news-like tickeron your computer screen. Behind the scenes it lobs a message onto your screen without a click. In theory it can finesse the SPAM problem and assure a marketer that the message gets seen regardless of the attitude of the end user.

The problem is that very few of us need a constantly updated flow of information about anything. Those of us who do need instantaneous information updates have Bloomberg machines or tickers or GPS devices or beepers and we don't need another desktop tool.

If you doubt me, download the weather "bug" from Initially you think it would be great to constantly know the temperature and the forecast. After a few days you discover how annoying and frankly, how useless it is to know this data, especially when you are chained to your PC and never go outside.

Imagine how annoying this could be if everytime a website on your "Favorites" list added something they pinged you. Or even worse, imagine how annoying it would be if everytime a blogger posted, they pinged you. RSS has the potential to ruin your favorite things.

In the meantime, it will be hyped as the new technology flavor of the week.


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