Is RSS the Solution for Emarketers?

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.

Comments

Good article, and I agree with you that RSS has been overhyped. But that’s not too good of a story when issueing a press release, right?

Anyway, as you haven’t read the e-book yet I completely understand and even support your scepticism.

So, please drop me an e-mail at XXX and I’ll send you a review copy.

The one thing however you are wrong about (grin:) is that this is another “me-too” book, as you can see from the conversations people have been having about it on the internet and from the direct feedback received from the RSS industry and other experts.

In view of the article above, this comment should shed some light:

“A new E-book on RSS is available from Rok Hrastnik. This one isn’t full of hype and promise of domination with RSS, or instant riches, or instant search-engine ranking; it’s just good, solid, practical information. The title is “Unleash the Marketing and Publishing Power of RSS.” A modest title considering this ebook has more than 500 pages and is inexpensive to buy. I found a number of useful tips, and I thought I was fairly up to speed on all this. There’s always something new to learn. The author provides additional interviews with people in the know about RSS to further your understanding and help you get a sense of what’s to come in 2005.”
Tom Parish, 4 Web Results

Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you:)

All the best,

Rok

“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.”

This is exactly why RSS is so powerful, especially for relevant content publishers and marketers.

And naturally, if companies want to use RSS to their best advantage, their internet marketing and content strategies will need to evolve to support the change in user behavior, which primarily means a focus on content highly relevant to their audiences.

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