Marshall Kirkpatrick writes a very interesting post at ReadWriteWeb entitled â€œRIP Enterprise RSS.â€ The essence of his argument is that demand for RSS simply never arose and that the market is over.
I’m in the UK and largely agree with Marshallâ€™s view that enterprise RSS has died although I suggest that an actual birth never really happened, or certainly hasnâ€™t yet, even after universal adoption of the symbol you see here (and which does have a high recognition factor in my experience).
What is RSS? you may be asking. You could read the Wikipedia definition; here are the first couple of sentences:
RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated worksâ€”such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and videoâ€”in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.
I do a great deal of training and awareness-raising of social media as part of the communication mix. Thinking back over the past year and the workshops, conferences and other events Iâ€™ve spoken at in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, as well as the internal corporate workshops Iâ€™ve delivered, Iâ€™d say that even base awareness of what RSS is and what it enables people to do is still a minority view.
And even then, use of RSS in the workplace is piecemeal with very few (read: hardly any) organizations with any kind of tactic let alone strategy that includes the use of RSS as a tool to improve productivity, enhance communication and facilitate knowledge- and information-sharing.
What would make RSS grab attention within the enterprise? Heh, if I knew the exact answer, Iâ€™d be sitting back and picking up those royalties!
What I tend to focus on is helping the people I talk to â€“ organizational communicators largely: people involved in PR, marketing, employee communication, etc â€“ understand the benefits of their using RSS as a time-saver and listening tool.
You can see people getting their â€˜light bulb momentsâ€™ when you illustrate the simple example of getting content from their ten favourite websites automatically delivered to them rather than having to visit those ten sites individually to see if thereâ€™s anything new.
Indeed, here are just three examples of the real value you can get from RSS that Iâ€™ve recently written about in this blog:
- 60 PR blogs in one RSS feed
- Finding good bloggers has never been easier
- Get 150 marketing blogs in one go
In his post, Marshall argues that one of the showstoppers to greater take-up with RSS in the workplace is the tools themselves, the RSS readers and aggregators that arenâ€™t â€˜enterprise class.â€™
I certainly do agree with him in his view that an email program is no place for RSS feeds although Iâ€™m not so sure that tools like Google Reader arenâ€™t up to scratch in the workplace.
Be that as it may, the fact is that RSS has not captured corporate imaginations. What do you think will be the trigger, the tipping point if you like, that will make decision-makers within corporations sit up and take notice?
Leave a comment here, or head on over to Marshallâ€™s post and join the conversation there.