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The Future of RSS

Most popular industry blogs offer multiple feed options for the simple reason that RSS feeds are being used by professionals in many industries to aggregate and consume "niche news."  As an increasing number of news media sources offer their content through RSS feeds, this is becoming a defacto source for aggregating news in any industry, from international shipping to telecommunications.  Clearly, the emergence of RSS as the source for professionals in many industries to subscribe to relevant news creates many opportunities for marketers. 

As RSS evolves, one of the main areas that it will continue to improve in is the method by which RSS feed content is indexed.  A more detailed tagging and "folksonomy" for content will allow RSS feeds to be more easily searchable.  As soon as this happens, I believe networks of RSS feed aggregations will start to take the place of personal RSS feed aggegrators – and users will begin to subscribe to keywords that are important to them rather than to entire RSS feeds.  Delicious and Technorati are already beginning to offer examples of this trend, though neither has an area solely focused on RSS feeds (yet). 

As more RSS feed aggregations based on keywords emerge, this will allow a far wider range of content to make it in front of average users, from multiple sources rather than several niche sources.  Of course, people will still have their favourite news sources to subscribe to … but RSS has a huge potential to add a layer of order to what is becoming an increasingly fragmented world of information on the Internet as millions of pieces of consumer generated media are added to the Internet each day.  Ultimately, if this happens – many current forms of marketing online will turn in a new direction.  Marketers will no longer focus on just creating compelling messages, but on creating compelling content instead.  It will only be through this highly relevant content that users will ever interact with marketing messages.  Imagine if you were actually forced to write something insightful about the industry or product that you were trying to sell.  Good marketing would be far less of a creative design exercise and far more about good writing.  I imagine there would be quite a few of today’s creative agencies languishing if this prediction came true.

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Rohit is the author of 9 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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