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The Evolution of RSS, According to Yahoo


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July 14, 2005

The Evolution of RSS, According to Yahoo

Heather Green

Just chatted with Scott Gatz, Yahoo's RSS honcho. It was a great chance to explore a thread on the evolution of RSS that Fred Wilson wrote about today at his blog, A VC.

Basically, Fred writes that RSS overtime will be woven automatically into everyday actions, whether it's using iTunes or Outlook. So, rather than going to a service or program to browse through your feeds, as you do today, you'll get the information you want when you want it.

Gatz agrees with a lot of this thinking. Yahoo already is integrating RSS into its services, such as Yahoo News and HotJobs, which for instance, allows you to subscribe to a specific job listing. And Gatz imagines amping that up so that you can get these alerts delivered to you when and where you want, whether it's on your cell phone or even in your living room over a settop box. So, say, if a Soho apartment in the right range comes up for sale and you're in Central Park uptown, an alert would be sent automatically to your phone, allowing you to scoot downtown and take a gander.

Still, Gatz doesn't think that centralized services go away completely. He simply sees this incorpration of RSS into other services as a compliment. Little wonder. My Yahoo, which was redesigned last year around RSS is seeing good success, he says. With millions (under 10 million) of the 25 million My Yahoo subscribers using RSS, it's now No. 1 RSS newsreader, he says.

01:45 PM

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good post...curious if he said anything about users potentially feeling overloaded with rss feeds over time.

Posted by: Michael Parekh at July 14, 2005 02:49 PM

Hey Michael, That's a good question and I wish I had asked it. Unfortunately, I didn't.

He did make some interesting points about how what they had learned in terms of making it easier for people to sign up for RSS feeds. For instance, they have RSS button right on the Yahoo toolbar that lights up when you're at a site that has an RSS feed. You just click it to sign up, apparently. And over 4 million Web pages now have the "Add my Yahoo" RSS button on them.

We don't have those buttons but I mean to ask our IT folks about adding them. Would make it easier for people to sign up for RSS feeds.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 14, 2005 03:35 PM

Hi, you might consider the tool offered over at http://www.methodize.org/quicksub/ It's pretty neat, if kind of ugly.

On my site I offer one click sub buttons for Newsgator, Bloglines, my yahoo and my msn. Plus a general XML link to my Feedburner feed. I find that offering the main 5 aggregators plus a general link for users of minor services works well.

Posted by: Marshall Kirkpatrick at July 14, 2005 04:01 PM

Excellent post...it's good to get the word out that the big players have all embraced RSS. I've been talking RSS and related trends on my podcast show www.PodTech.net

Charlene Li has a great interview on where RSS is going and other Venture Capitalists make big predictions of RSS and media.

John Furrier

Founder of PodTech.net

Posted by: John Furier at July 15, 2005 11:45 AM

Hey Marshall,

Thanks for the link, will take a look.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 15, 2005 12:37 PM

I would post the HTML for the big 5 buttons here, but your blogging software won't let me post in HTML, even if I put comment tags around it. Regardless, if anyone wants to do this, feel free to go to my site, highlight the RSS subscription buttons on my sidebar, in Firefox "view selection code" and replace my feed URl with your own. Voila, you've got one click subscribe buttons.

Posted by: Marshall Kirkpatrick at July 15, 2005 02:05 PM

Yes. Thank you. I would love to have a personal page, not a My Yahoo or some other proprietary page, but my very own page like my personal domain, http://www.ashbuckles.com, where I can access everything from my news, bank account balance, stock portfolio balance, phone number & email lists, etc. I'm waiting. ;-)

Posted by: Ash at July 15, 2005 11:14 PM

Ash, to some degree you can do this by grabbing RSS feeds you are interested in and running them through RSS Digest ( http://bigbold.com/rssdigest ) That will create a javascript you can copy and paste into an html page to display new items in the feeds you are interested in. It's really quite easy if you are comfortable with the most basic HTML.

Posted by: Marshall Kirkpatrick at July 19, 2005 08:15 PM


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