Broadcast, Narrow Audience

The problem with RSS is that it is a broadcast technology with a narrow audience. Whereas email is a narrowcast technology with a broad audience. And while I’d love to see RSS replace email in broadcast applications, it’s just not going to happen until the target audience embraces RSS.

I’ve had my doubts about Google’s motives towards RSS in the past. But just in case they’re listening, they could dispell all my doubts by including a news aggregator in Gmail. People understand email from the get go. But you need to use RSS before you can understand it and you need to have an aggregator before you can use it.

I didn’t really understand the RSS until I started using it. I didn’t start using it until I had one bundled up in Radio Userland - even after reading Scripting News by email for years. And I think that I have a lot of company.

Google could change all that by adding a RSS reader to Gmail. A move that could compel competitors to respond in kind. And a move that could elevate RSS to a broadcast technology with a broadcast audience.