The RSS promise for end-users is simple:
- A unified one-stop-shop to consume online content, without having to visit dozens of sites every day to see what’s new and without having their online subscriptions interfere with their personal and business e-mail communications
- Complete control over their content consumption, including a quick, easy and reliable mechanism to unsubscribe from content they do not wish to receive
- The ability to receive breaking news as it becomes available, without having to wait for a monthly, weekly or daily recap sent to their e-mail addresses
- The certainty of actually receiving the content they want, without the fear of it being stopped by spam filters on the way
- The ability to receive rich-media content directly to their desktops, including audio and video content
- The promise of providing the tools to make their lives easier, including receiving critical content updates as soon as they become available.
These points are not simple enhancements, but important advancements that can fundamentally change how internet content is consumed. Furthermore, these points themselves prove why marketers need to start implementing RSS now!
To bring the point home, let us inspect some of the content services already powered by RSS.
Library Elf: Making the library experience easier
Library Elf helps you keep track of your library accounts in one place and received reminders, such as what library material is due, overdue and ready for pickup. Library Elf uses the power of RSS to help you forget about your library accounts and instead be directly notified of the changes you’re waiting for, directly to your desktop.
Indeed: Helping your find the right job
Indeed.com provides its visitors with job seeking results from hundreds of sites and then makes the search results accessible via RSS feeds. Users can subscribe to individual search results, pertaining directly to their search keywords to be notified immediately when new jobs are available.
Flickr: Sharing your life in picture
Flickr is the most popular photography management and sharing service on the web, enabling end-users to upload their photos and then make them available to their friends, associates and family through a wide assortment of content delivery channels, including RSS. By subscribing to individual Flickr feeds from their users, everyone can have direct access to the latest life experiences from their friends.
RSSCalendar: Sharing your events
RSSCalendar.com allows individuals and companies to share their personal or group calendars with the rest of the world, letting everyone that matters know of where and what they are doing next, delivering this information via individual RSS feeds.
Coupons.com: Savings to your desktop
Coupons.com brings the best deals and coupons to internet end-users, helping them save money by discounted shopping. As of late, they also started delivering coupons through RSS feeds, giving their subscribers direct access to their latest offerings.
PubSub.com: Tracking the world
PubSub.com is an amazing service that allows you to track practically everything going on around the world by matching your keywords with tens of thousands of online content sources, and enabling you to subscribe to your customized search results through customized RSS feeds.
RSSAuction.com: Tracking your purchase interests
If you’re a regular eBay user, you certainly want to keep track of new products available, which precisely match your interests. RSSAuction.com helps users keep better track of eBay by giving them a tool to first create a comprehensive list of product requirements and then delivering the search result through an RSS feed. As soon as new products matching individual interests appear, the user is notified of that through his RSS aggregator, giving him the ability to start bidding immediately and without having to visit eBay every day to find the right products.
Upcoming.org: Keeping track of local and social events
From the Upcoming.org website: “Upcoming.org is a collaborative event calendar, completely driven by people like you. Enter in the events you're attending, comment on events entered by others, and syndicate event listings to your own weblog. As Upcoming.org learns more about the events you enjoy, it will suggest new events you never would have heard about.”
Feedbeep: The ultimate 'time-to-information' tool
Depending on who you are and your current life situation, many content alerts are critical for you. If you’re looking for a job, you want to know immediately when a new one matching your precise interests is available, and so on. While RSS brings this information to your desktop, that might not be fast enough. Feedbeep.com takes internet content delivery one step further, by empowering users to have their critical content updates delivered from an RSS feed directly to their mobile phones via SMS.
RSS Empowers Consumers
The one thing all of these RSS-based or RSS-empowered services have in common is that they empower consumers.
They empower them by getting the content that matters to them delivered directly to their desktops or online content aggregators, but still giving them the power to unsubscribe within moments of not being satisfied with the content they are receiving.
Even more so, these services empower consumers to create social networks and easily share their information with their friends, family and associates on a large scale.