RSS Cuts Through Communication Clutter

Ann All

E-mail is showing its age. We've long since advanced beyond how cool it is to send messages back and forth through cyberspace -- look Ma, no stamps! -- and now we are all too aware of its shortcomings.


No matter how many tools you use to try to tame your messages, they tend to spiral out of control. Efforts to collaborate with coworkers often involve lengthy and confusing message strings. Despite your best efforts to discourage them, coworkers clog your inbox with "jokes" and other unwanted communication. And some spam sneaks past even the best filters.


While corporate intranets are a communications option, they often have outdated information and user-unfriendly interfaces.


The wide world of Web 2.0 promises to solve some of these corporate communications ills with tools like wikis, which garner a fair amount of ink in the tech press, thanks largely to the tireless promotion efforts of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and blogs.


A technology that we've heard a bit less about is Really Simple Syndication (RSS), an XML message format that allows users to select and, more importantly, filter content that they wish to have delivered to a Web browser, e-mail program or dedicated application.


Firms are finding interesting uses for RSS, from monitoring data warehouse quality to streamlining document management to improving communication with suppliers and other outside parties.


The downsides: Because it's relatively new, a fair amount of custom configuration may be required to tweak RSS to your company's needs. It's difficult to quantify the benefits. Despite the name, just how simple is it? (Exhibit A: this screen shot)

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 7, 2006 5:53 AM  says:  RSS Google site YAkutia Reply
Sep 10, 2006 11:04 AM Lee Odden Lee Odden  says:
Hi Anne, I agree that RSS has a ways to go for users to really become "Really Simple Syndication".  The link to a "screenshot" you have at the end of your post is a bit out of context I think, because that page is a tool for blog owners/webmasters, not for the "blog reading public". The product of using the RSS Button tool is as few and as many RSS reader options as the blog owner wishes to offer. In many cases, it's just a single, orange RSS icon. Reply

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