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 sheâ€™s onto something and Iâ€™ll relate her point to a project Iâ€™m working on now:
Iâ€™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. Iâ€™m working with them on their blog strategy and support forums.
One of the priorities weâ€™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. Itâ€™s just step one.
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 â€œconversationâ€?? thatâ€™s happening right now.
Often, businesses donâ€™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 â€œsucksâ€??)
- Links to their sites from Technorati
- Related del.icio.us 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 Murphyâ€™s Law would have it- itâ€™s time for you, dear reader, to tell me about the myriad companies already doing thisâ€¦