From Simon Waldman, a new blogger and the digital publisher of London's Guardian;
Too many media owners - especially newspaper publishers take a Ptolemaic view of the universe: with themselves right at the centre. The truth, of course, is much more Copernican. We are simply a small planet spinning around.
By the way, I really don’t understand why the press thinks there’s a browser war underway. The real war is between RSS and HTML. At the recent Gnomedex conference about 80% of the attendees said they were using a news aggregator. That’s a HUGE shift in behavior and has far deeper consequences than a browser choice does.
Don’t think for a minute that young people don’t read. On the contrary, they do, many of them voraciously. But having grown up under the credo that information should be free, they see no reason to pay for news. Instead they access The Washington Post website or surf Google News, where they select from literally thousands of information sources. They receive RSS feeds on their PDAs or visit bloggers whose views mesh with their own. In short, they customize their news-gathering experience in a way a single paper publication could never do. And their hands never get dirty from newsprint.
It seems that SMS, instant messenger (IM), and blogs (called "one man media" in the linked article) are the favored forms of communication.
The synchronous nature of SMS and IM are preferred because, according to the article:
"The new generation hate agonizing and waiting and tend to express their feelings immediately," said Professor Lee. "The decline of email is a natural outcome reflecting such characteristics of the new generation."
1. Some one associated with the company should have been tracking web and weblog comments with a keyword feed on 'Target'
2. When the first bad buzz started, a Target rep needed to reach out to a couple of the key commentators and let them know what the company was doing to correct the problem. Comment on the post or posts; use a trackback; send emails.
The difficulty was that this all happened over a holiday weekend, when Target's execs were unlikely to be working.
But it's a 24/7 world now, folks -- you can't let negative buzz spread too far too fast, at any time... As Wired said recently (via Radiant Marketing),
"The same thing will happen in business, because people know they don't need to head to branded sites for good information. Bloggers can be trusted to be independent and people will turn to self-published experts for information."
The good news is that the mechanisms to manage the message immediately and remotely are all right here, right now...
--"I was surprised to find that over 50% of the visitors of this blog access it through a RSS reader. I guess that has something to do with the fact that all feeds for the blog have the full text of the entries, eliminating the need to visit the site, but the number was above what I would expect intuitively."
I presently subscribe to about a hundred RSS feeds and my inbox is running at about 20 to 40 messages on a daily basis; very manageable. I no longer receive email newsletters and I specifically seek out newsletter sources that are RSS-based. To put it bluntly, I have no time to surf the Web; the Web has to come to me.
...As I reflect on my decision to use this less-than-mature model for staying abreast of information, I have come to realise that many of my colleagues and other early adopters of RSS have come to depend on RSS for one very simple reason: they value their time. Many people think that RSS is simply a new model for browsing, and while it is a new way to browse information, it’s far from just that. RSS provides a way for you to save time and depending on how much time you presently spend going to Web sites or hunting down updates to information sources. The more you use the Web, the more time you will likely save if you adopt RSS.
...In 1994, if someone told you that in 10 years there would be just shy of a billion Internet users, more than 100 billion Web pages, and trillions of dollars of commerce based on a globally connected network, you might have thought the person insane. It was difficult to imagine then, as it is difficult to imagine now, that more than 100 billion RSS feeds will emerge in the next six years. It is difficult to imagine a different model of search where information (that you really want) searches for you. It’s difficult to imagine anything as geeky as RSS (i.e., machine-code in a URL) impacting non-technical users in every aspect of information and their daily personal and business lives. But it was difficult to envision a Web page 10 years ago.
Google, which implemented an internal Web log system behind its firewall about 18 months ago, has seen tremendous benefits from it and may in the future consider providing tools and expertise for this purpose to interested clients, a Google executive said.
"...we have seen a lot of different uses of blogs within the firewall: people keeping track of meeting notes, people sharing diagnostics information, people sharing snippets of code, as well as more personal uses, like letting co-workers know what they're thinking about and what they're up to," Goldman said. "It really helps grow the intranet and the internal base of documents."
I think that the inner nature of RSS is that it is like email except:
Pull not Push
Anonymous Broadcast not Targeted Narrowcast
Maintains History (most recent facets of a permanent store)
...Enterprise RSS is better suited for feeds that are of interest to groups not individuals. Where the ease of subscription reduces the overhead associated with people who want to be cc'ed on everything. And where the history implicit within an RSS feed becomes a tool to bring newcomers up to speed.
Instead of a Lead Generation feed targeted at an individual, how about a Sales Status feed for the team. Have sales discuss what is and isn't working at accounts. And have marketing monitor, correct, and reinforce marketing messages.
Good blog post from Scott Reynolds (corrected!) about why RSS for enterprises. Points to at least four enterprise uses for RSS (excerpts):
Leads Management --Why not tell a sales guy about a new lead using RSS?...
Trigger Based and Data Mined Intelligence --Imagine a scenario where a user profiles themselves on an intranet site and subscribes to an RSS feed. A data mining engine then uses that profile and periodically matches it to data in the warehouse...
Customised Report Subscriptions --With custom RSS feeds - the potential is huge...
Internal Communications -- From social events to the latest revenue flash reports....