RSS has the potential to be the worlds biggest micro-content social network

by Ian Rosenwach on 9.10.2009

Twitter, Facebook, and other micro-content social networks have a lot in common with RSS. You subscribe to content, be it a friend, Publisher, or a Twitter account. You read it all in a single place. You can unsubscribe. The content comes in snippets.



RSS has been around for a while, but maybe we’re missing something.

I propose that each RSS subscriber is really a follower, or a fan, or a friend. People form RSS publisher/subscriber relationships.

The problem is that RSS feeds are a one-way communication – from publisher to subscriber. Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are more community-driven and conversational.

Why can’t we take all the social networks RSS has created and make RSS community-driven and conversational? At it’s most basic, what would need to be done?

  • Give RSS Publishers the ability to privately and publicly message their subscribers
  • Give RSS Subscribers the ability to privately and publicly message people they are subscribed to
  • Search public and private content
  • See the list of feeds other users are subscribed to

There’s more, but you get the drift.

If you can build messaging (public and private) into RSS, you surpassed Twitter as the largest micro-content social network.   Is this the next-generation RSS Reader?  Google Reader has sharing options, but no contact between the content producer and the subscriber.

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