RSS should be “unbundled”

by Ian Rosenwach on 11.25.2009

Why, as a web Publisher, why can I not easily send an update to my RSS subscribers without publishing a new post?

Let’s say I have 700 RSS subscribers, and this is the primary way that people read my content.  Would Publishers find it valuable to be able to send a direct message to these 700 subscribers via RSS, without publishing a time-consuming new blog post?

Many Publishers use Twitter essentially as an extension of their site.  It’s a way to stay connected to readers without having to invest the time and effort writing an entire blog post.  Your RSS subscribers are, in fact, the same as your Twitter followers.  They’ve opted in and decided to follow you.  But it’s not as easy to communicate with them as it should be.

In my publishing platform, I’d like to just ping my RSS subscribers with a “micro post”.  Think Twitter built into a publishing platform.  I’ve written before about how RSS has many of the properties of social networks.

Perhaps it’s not hard technically to build this around RSS.  It could just be a matter of building a publishing platform that makes it easy for Publishers to communicate on a one-off basis with their RSS subscribers, using existing protocols.

It can be done, and will be done, in the next generation web Publishing platform.  Or maybe Twitter can partner with a Blogger or WordPress to help their Publishers maintain connections with followers, directly from their interface, without having to write an entire blog post.

  • That's not a limit of RSS, it's a limit of your publishing platform.

    Mine has never had that limit, going back to 1997.

  • ianrosenwach

    Yes, good point. I just haven't seen this feature easily accessible in any of the large publishing platforms like Blogger and WordPress.

  • If you present it as a feature request rather than a deficiency in RSS you
    have a chance of getting the feature implemented.

  • Pingback: Is RSS dead? | Digital Ian()

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