RSS as a Publishing Platform

One of the smartest guys I know asked me a question last week. He wanted to know if I thought that RSS could be a commercial publishing/marketing platform. In short, yes. It already is at some level.

iTunes sends me RSS alerts every day about various top ten lists and new music. I can go right from the feed to purchasing the music at the iTunes music store and do that all the time.

But I just spent 10 minutes on Amazon.com and couldn’t figure out how to get anything from them via RSS.

There is a limited discussion of this in my RSS Roadmap post.

The real problem with RSS today is that there aren’t many tools to allow the publisher/marketer/sender to figure out what is going on with the feed. I use Feedburner for that and it works fine for me, but probably isn’t robust enough for a real marketer yet.

It’s early days still and I would bet that there are less than a million people using RSS readers. But the number is growing fast. I use three of them myself, Newsgator, MyYahoo, and Kinja. It is already a daily routine for me. I check my RSS feeds at least 2/3 times a day.

So to answer my friend, I think its time for someone to build a full featured RSS publishing/marketing platform. My bet is that there are people building it already.