Steve Outing makes a strong case that email newsletters are dead, and that RSS news feeds are the way to go for publishers. His article quotes Chris Pirillo extensively.
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.
You are absolutely right that online publishers need to start migrating to RSS now. Spam and virus/worms have made email a quagmire for those who disseminate information to groups, to the point that it endangers their businesses. RSS is an efficient and cost-effective method to distribute information.
Quikonnex is an online publishing service developed by some friends which makes it possible for folks who know nothing about RSS to use the technology to publish online. In addition, they have developed a simple system by which to convert subscribers from email to channels. They realized that publishers will not venture where subscribers cannot follow. Quikonnex uses a channel viewer which can handle all flavors of RSS, so their publishers do not have to worry about which version is used.
If you would like more details, please visit:
The idea behind the development of Quikonnex was to bring RSS to the masses and thus begin to relieve the burden on email.