Why RSS isn’t Push

Dan Gillmor writes about the rise of RSS web syndication. What’s happening is related to the boom vision of “internet push” technology, yet very different.
Microsoft, Netscape, and the late unlamented PointCast envisioned a world where Net feeds from corporate content providers would be streamed to the desktops of users, surrounded by ads. Media companies would pay huge premiums to snag plum real estate on the “webtop.” The cable television business model would take over.
RSS newsreaders put the choice of content in the hands of the end-user. RSS feeds come from big companies and local friends. Search engines find related content, aggregating the bottom-up choices of readers and writers.
Gillmor writes about current and emerging uses for RSS, beyond subscribing to weblogs and newspapers. Chris Pirillo sees RSS evolving as a replacement for e-mail publishing and marketing. Dave Sifry envisions RSS applications that “aggregate information from traffic cameras, published to the Web, to be able to more effectively calculate and predict traffic flow during rush hour? How about entirely new industrial applications made possible because the sensors are all describing information in the same format?” Dan Gillmor anticipates more control over the selection and display of content “more nuance, such as the ability to highlight by topic, by writer, by popularity and other measures.
It will be interesting to see where RSS goes from here, but on thing’s for sure. It doesn’t look much like cable television.

2 thoughts on “Why RSS isn’t Push”

  1. RSS isn’t push because the users decide what feeds to subscribe to and the feeds come from amateurs as well as pro broadcasters

    (SOURCE: BookBlog: Why RSS isn’t Push )- The web ain’t TV or broadcast.

  2. When one too many cook…

    An interesting discussion is taking place at the moment between Earl of A Networked World, Taka of Awasu.com and James Farmer on the topic of whether RSS feeds and aggregators are a push or pull medium. They are in theory both.

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