Imx Fix in my experience
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October 30, 2002 11:33 AM

I'm sure someone else has already thought that RSS is not exactly the most commerce friendly technology to come around. It specifically avoids the user interface needed to shove adverts in your face in the from of wildly gyrating Flash based ads, pop-under ads and most other banner based ads. Sure, the RSS 0.9 spec does have an item in there for including a url to badge of some sort, but the commonly accepted size is small. Hardly the mechanism of over commercialism that would attract dollars.

Others have floated the idea of making on of the items in an RSS feed an advert, which could be useful. I suppose it wouldn't to much to deal with as a user of NetNewsWire. You'd only see a line item in the list of new articles, and could easily be ignored. In fact, more easily than a banner ad since there's no monkey to punch or urgent Windows optimization I have to execute right now (on my Mac).

The Christian Science Monitor has recently made RSS feeds available and I wonder if the only possible goal is to drive people to the site to see the adverts there. It's a stretch imho. How can RSS be monetized? The BBC has RSS feeds and I wonder what impact, if any, they have seen from making that available.

I mentioned in my last post that I was enticed by Salon to subscribe to premium content. I only learned of the article thru their RSS feed, so I suppose that's a monetizing connection. But is that measurable? (Return on Investment requires one to measure the returns, and I don't see how a visit from an RSS feed correctly translates into subscriptions for Salon.) Sure, RSS is easy to generate, and the feeds can be pretty slim making the bandwidth needed to serve it tiny.

One thing I think we can count on is that CNN won't be making full article text available thru RSS anytime soon (unlike this site which does include the entirety of a given article in the RSS feed). It's not worth it to them based on web browser based revenue schemes (eg, you go to website using a browser, and see lots of big adverts).