I’ve always been following the latest fads and I see a lot of technologies being used together to create a more interesting web. Take, for instance, RSS. RSS is not a new technology. So why was its global adoption so delayed?
A bit of history
I don’t want to bore you with all the facts so just check the RSS History for the whole thing. Bottom line: we now have different two RSS versions: 1.0 (RDF Site Summary) and 2.0 (Really Simple Syndication). Some websites use the first, some user the last. While it seems that RSS 2.0 is gaining popularity (because it descends directly from the original), RSS 1.0 is still sticking.
Syndicating is gaining popularity
It seems to me that all the enthusiasm we are now witnessing is a product of the power of technology evangelism. People like Dave Winer and Tim O’Reilly are driving every CEO crazy when they talk about monetizing content by syndicating it. Wired and the long tail article also played a major role on this global change. When you see China People’s Daily syndicating their news sections, you can feel that something is moving your way, really fast.
People want content
You can stand still and wait for it to hit you hard, or you can start running now and hope that you don’t fall behind. Because when everybody else has their content syndicated (and maybe monetized, but that’s another story), people will run away from your website (no, really).
People want content and want to consume it at their own pace, in their own terms. They don’t want to view it through that layout you took three months to design and get approved by the board of directors. They don’t want to have to click twice to get to that news piece you just edited last night and took an entire morning to publish. They don’t want to wait for your website to load when there’s a traffic surge.
They just want the content, period. Don’t even bother trying to help them consume it, just make it available.
Why RSS is the way to go
RSS is now the best approach to this paradigm. With feed readers widely available, feed directories and search engines gaining popularity as you read this, rest assured that your content will be consumed.
You just have to let it go. Learning how to abandon your old-fashioned website is now your major concern. In a few months you won’t even look back, or reality (some people call it competition) will step on you.
Are you already syndicating your content? What are you waiting for?