Fixing ‘Really Simple Syndication'(RSS) for good
No one knows what 'syndication' means, unless you’re talking about I Love Lucy reruns. Syndication is a publisher-centric, geek-centric term. For most people, it’s Really Simple Huh? Most people don’t even know that syndicate can be used as a verb!
And then there are issues at the other extreme too – the problem of abundance of RSS feeds.
Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 suggests this three step solution
- Call it 'subscribing'
- Encourage everyone to get a reader
- Use the iTunes model — Search, browse, recommend, remix
- One click subscription
because 'subscription' is something most people are familiar with
because most people either don’t have one or don’t know that they have one
an Amazon-esque 'people who subscribed to this also subscribed to…'
I would add,
The way we do it now is just too geeky. No wonder only 4% of Internet users know what RSS is.
So what will it take to 'feed' them RSS. Either,
- Wait for Microsoft to fix this – for those who think that the little blue 'e' icon is THE Internet, or,
- Make it easier than browsing itself, as easy as e-mail. (RSS integration in Outlook is soooo (a))