Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

RSS Still Just a Promise in Politics

Steve Rubel points to a Pew statistic that shows 5 percent of users take advantage of RSS feeds.  That’s obviously a number that shows the technology is in its very early stages.

The interesting thing to consider here is how RSS might impact politics in a few years.  For example, it could be used as a more efficient way to push action alerts or similar things to members rather than email. 

This all depends on wider adoption of RSS readers by users, of course.  And today it still sounds too scary for many average readers.  The most likely way that technophobes will adopt it in greater numbers is if products like Newsgator that can show RSS within Microsoft Outlook (a product most such users are already comfortable with)  become more prevalent. 

The key is to remove perceived barriers to use — right now too many people are deterred by installing separate RSS readers or having to visit RSS aggregation web sites.  Early adopters tolerate the upfront investment of time to find and setup new products; typical users will not.

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