Outing is right — but he’s about 2 years ahead of the market here, I’d guess. Most folks haven’t even heard of RSS yet, and explaining it takes a little time, as I’ve discovered. Once you understand how it works, the advantages are clear, but there’s a big initial hurdle to overcome. On top of that, no one can seem to agree on what RSS really is, and the current pissing match between partisans of RSS 1.0 vs 2.0 vs Pie, whatever its merits, is bound to make companies nervous about standardizing on RSS. Who wants to build their house in the middle of a battlefield?
Bottom line: The time is now for publishers of all kinds to begin implementing RSS, testing it, deploying RSS feeds and figuring out how to capitalize on this technology. Use either RSS 1.0 or 2.0, or both (most newsfeed readers can interpret both formats). But discarding email entirely would be a risky move for any online publisher who values their audience.