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Why RSS doesn't catch on: Confession of a technophobic tech writer


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February 07, 2006

Why RSS doesn't catch on: Confession of a technophobic tech writer

Stephen Baker

You know my problem as a tech writer? If a new technology doesn't promise immediate pleasure or payoffs, I don't like to tinker with it. I put it off. I have two phones at home that I'm supposed to review, one a nifty Samsung with a powerful camera, the other a pocket pc phone made in China for T-Mobile. I've outsourced the testing, at least for now, to my 13-year-old. Last night he was struggling with the pocket pc. "How do you get the SIM card in here?" he asked.

"Go on the Web and figure it out," I said.

The two products I've gotten around to reviewing are the two I fell in love with, the video iPod and Motorola's PEBL phone. Is it a coincidence that they're both simple and beautiful? I don't think so.

The reluctance of mine to tinker extends to blog technology. I hate to admit it, but I haven't dabbled yet with del.icio.us or figured out how to create podcasts. I've done nothing imaginative with RSS. Even my aggregator page is a bare-bones embarrassment compared to Heather's.

Long story short, I'm a typical tech user. That's why I related to Debbie Weil's and Fred Wilson's posts on why RSS hasn't yet made a dent in corporate e-mail. If it's something I have to outsource to my 13-year-old, a technology isn't dunce-proof ready for primetime.

08:13 AM

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? Stephen Baker on why RSS is not catching on from Yooter Search Marketing Agency

We have to admit here at Yooter that we are becoming more and more of a fan of Stephen Baker’s blog. We do suggest you take the time to read his work.

Regarding this individual post, regarding why RSS is not really catching on to the mainstre... [Read More]

Tracked on February 8, 2006 01:16 PM

FeedBurner and FeedBlitz from Filipino Librarian

As this blog's numbers show, email still trumps RSS. See the following for more info on the current discussion on why RSS isn't catching on:

* Email vs. RSS

* Why RSS has not supplanted email...

* Why RSS doesn't catch on [Read More]

Tracked on February 11, 2006 01:21 AM

FeedBurner and FeedBlitz from Filipino Librarian

As this blog's numbers show, email still trumps RSS. See the following for more info on the current discussion on why RSS isn't catching on:

* Email vs. RSS

* Why RSS has not supplanted email...

* Why RSS doesn't catch on [Read More]

Tracked on February 11, 2006 01:22 AM

Steve,

You're spot on that RSS has not yet reached the level of un-sophistication to be adopted by everyone. Just wait, it's coming. Remember when you were working on DOS based computers, or UNIX even? I do, and it drove us nuts. How intuitive was that? It was like learning a second language - as with anything this early on in the diffusion curve.

I look at the relative advantage of RSS and can't help but see a bright future - all of your information in one place (an aggregator) from so many sources, coming through a spam-free communication (and marketing) channel.

Posted by: Dana Vanden Heuvel at February 7, 2006 12:39 PM

That's a good point about how old computers were. Kind of like how making a Web page was -- all that code to write in with HTML. Then, tools are created that make it easy enough for a 13 year old to post pictures and text on their Web blog in just a few clicks. RSS needs to get to a point where your grandmother can make a few clicks and then it happens right then and there. At this point, when I click on an RSS link, I get a bunch of code. And really, what would your grandmother do with all that code?

Posted by: Anthony at February 8, 2006 04:24 PM

I was looking setting up RSS. The problem seems to be a lack of RSS authoring tools for people who do their own web sites. If RSS support was easy to setup in Frontpage, Dreamweaver, nVU or other tools, I think it would be adopted a lot faster. Right now the average syndicator must use a blog to take advantage RSS, and those blogs don't necessarily suit other purposes well.

Posted by: John Koenig at February 9, 2006 12:23 PM

In the same breath, I've seen a proliferation of RSS enabled websites lately, and using RSSReader shareware, I use now constantly to keep up on news around the world. Than again, I've never tried to set it up.

Posted by: ABP at February 12, 2006 11:59 AM


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