Does RSS Threaten Websites?

Posted on May 24, 2005

Steve Rubel at Micropersuasion.com points to a blog post by InfoWorld's Matt McAlister that looks at what the rapid adoption of RSS over the past couple years might mean for websites. This post should also answer Rubel's question "Has the RSS Wagon Stalled?" from April, 2005. McAlister says that one of the shared views at last week's Syndicate conference was that RSS adoption has hit critical mass. He also raises the possibility that RSS might be doing to websites what websites did to print. But it seems much more likely that people will want both RSS and websites. Print is much more likely to be doomed.
The day InfoWorld's top news RSS feed received more requests than our home page, I started thinking a frightening thought: RSS is doing to the Web today what the Web has been doing to print for the last several years. We have disintermediated our Web site by offering our news in an easier to access format...again. Just as the Web ultimately created more opportunity rather than less, RSS will open up some new doors for the media business. What's behind those doors may even become more profound than what we're doing with traditional online media properties today. But the ghost in the closet is a bit scary, probably big, and definitely ugly on first glance.


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