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RSS Limited Only By Creativity

Posted on 12.13.2005

Michael Stark of, whom I was lucky enough to meet at Ad:Tech in New York, sent me an email this morning about how his sites were performing and mentioned that his RSS feed was up and running. Always interested to see the practical implementations of RSS, I went to his site to download his real estate feed of FSBO properties - something which over 1,000 people downloaded in his first month online.

After placing the feed into my RSS reader and taking a look at a few of the properties posted, it got me thinking that RSS is only limited by the creativity of the feed itself. You could literally create an RSS feed of anything - not just articles and not just news. Shopping sites can take advantage of RSS to notify patrons of items on sale, even your favorite local restaurant or corner bar could use RSS to create a feed of its daily menu or drink specials.

Again, the possibilities are endless. The problem however for those who consider themselves less than 'Net savvy is that the majority of businesses of all sizes still use email as a primary means of communication. Email however, has its obvious limitations - it is not always received by the recipients because of spam filters, or simply dated email addresses. So is Email going the way of the buggy whip?

"Whether RSS may one day overtake email as the preferred mode of online marketing is still being debated" said Mr. Stark. "My opinion is that once Version 7 of Explorer debuts and takes hold, RSS will become very main-stream. RSS presents an amazing opt-in channel to not only build branding and traffic, but to constantly deliver updated information about one's interests and business."

So is email dead? Not even close, but the prognosis appears to be negative.

Pete Prestipino - WSM Managing Editor

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