Custom Packaging of RSS Feeds

Kathleen Gilroy posted recently about a vision of the future of RSS:

Imagine a universal portal (public or internal for corporate use) that does nothing more than help people to collect feeds that will help them learn about subjects they care about.

I think she’s onto something and I’ll relate her point to a project I’m working on now:

I’m working with a start-up called mpire here in Seattle. Mpire is building an online application that makes life easier for small businesses that use eBay. I’m working with them on their blog strategy and support forums.

One of the priorities we’ve outlined is to get them up to speed on the blog world and RSS. So, I set out to find all the eBay-related blogs I could find. Then, I created a NewsGator Online account for them and subscribed to all the eBay blogs, along with some other feeds and sent them the login.

This was a way for me to provide them a look at the kind of information they could track using blogs and RSS. It’s just step one.

The Opportunity

This process of creating a customized set of RSS feeds that focus on a particular niche really seems like an opportunity, particularly in the future. The mpire example is an example of what virtually every business should be doing -- keeping up with the “conversation�? that’s happening right now.

Often, businesses don’t know there IS a conversation going on, much less how to be aware of it. I see an opportunity for a service that could provide businesses with custom packages of RSS feeds for their area of focus. The packages might include feeds from:

  • Pertinent blogs (including competitors blogs)
  • PubSub for terms matching product, company and executive names (perhaps even followed by the word “sucksâ€??)
  • Links to their sites from Technorati
  • Related bookmark tags
  • Industry news sources

This sort of packaged RSS aggregation would enable a one-stop shop for businesses wanting to get started with RSS and blogging, but not knowing where to start.

Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it- it’s time for you, dear reader, to tell me about the myriad companies already doing this…