Andy McCue of Silicon.com deserves a special thanks for plugging the latest “me-too” book, this time on RSS feeds and how they are the emarketers’ dream come true, in Have RSS feeds killed the email star? – silicon.com.
Why thank Andy….? Well no opinion was expressed on the validity of Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS, by Rok Hrastnik, that’s why. Finally someone shows a little skepticism by not going overboard with a glorious review of what I suspect is bunk.
First and foremost, there is much greater control over RSS feeds than there was over email when it first came out. Progress being made to prevent comment spam and other nuisances is being following up on swiftly by open-source initiatives including the fine folks at the MT-Blacklist/Comment Spam Clearinghouse, in conjunction with organizations like Movable Type, of course.
Furthermore, RSS is a freely (well almost) available push-like technology that someone has to actually grab ahold of to read. This differs greatly from the necessity of email, and the function of downloading email to the inbox from a server. You have to get your mail, and spam is just part of the game. Email infrastructure makes it difficult to change addresses and stay in contact, much like changing your phone number, and changing your email address is often the only way to reduce spam (everyone knows the longer you maintain an address, the higher the likelyhood you will get spammed). But to turn off a spam-like RSS feed, you just…well…turn it off. If your reader of choice is not pointing to it, you just don’t “get” it, period.
Add to that the less than optimized cost effectiveness of RSS bandwidth usage, and the enormous number of feeds already out there, and on and on. It seems like this is a pretty inefficient way for hockers of Viagra and MLM programs to ever get a hold of potential suckers’ hard earned dough. It is just too easy for a user to eliminate the message. It would be an eternal search for fresh eyeballs, already strained by the enormity of existing data.
But then again, I am new at this, and Mr. Rok has written a whole book about it. Maybe I should check it out from the public library before I spout off any more.