I wanted to take a quick pulse on the world of RSS and marketing. How is it doing? What's its future?
eMarketer recently published an article that suggested that RSS is much-ado-about-nothing: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?1004127
It's surprising to me how often the low consumer awareness of RSS is used to suggest that RSS isn't being used. Most consumers have no idea what SMTP, HTTP and SSL are but that doesn't stop them from using email, surfing the web or buying things online. The fact is awareness does not equal adoption. We've all read last October's Yahoo!/Ipsos study (PDF) . Even though it's a bit out date now, it highlights the fact that consumers' adoption of RSS is well beyond their awareness.
A more upbeat view of RSS comes from Rebecca Lieb's recent Sept. 8 column in ClickZ. She cites a wide range of innovative uses of RSS. Her list blew me away in terms of the diversity and innovation of some of these applications. Without a doubt, RSS is a key component of a lot of innovation that is going on across the country. As consumers adopt RSS (even if they don't know they are doing so because they use Yahoo! or Google or Outlook) to get at these innovative feeds, their ability to be marketed to through those feeds and others will only increase.