Marshall Kirkpatrick penned a good post just before Christmas on 2007 highlighting the year in RSS, which made me consider the year ahead in terms of both consumer and enterprise RSS adoption. I polled some of our leading thinkers on the subject and here's what came back:
- Portal Plumbing. Using RSS / Atom as a way for backend systems to funnel information (both publishing and retrieving) into a single access points that are easy to use and easy to manage. Users won't need to know why all the information they find important is on one page. This is a no-brainer in many ways, and it reflects what is happening on the consumer side of the business. A large segment of users are taking advantage of start pages like iGoogle and Netvibes to be their own aggregator, and are using RSS to accomplish this, there is no reason why this should not also happen behind the firewall.
- RSS will also drive more of the backend of social networks. Users are far better filters than any software - so finding relevant information for (and from) various nodes of your social graph will become even more important. RSS will be the transfer protocol between yourself and your social networks.
- Ease of use will be greatly enhanced with discovery and filtering mechanisms to help you find new content and sort/organize the feeds you already subscribe to. People simply don't say "I need more content", but they do consistently say "I need better content".
- The debate about privacy is far from over. As more attention-based services that respond to your defined preferences and observed behaviors emerge, the question will again be asked about opt-out or opt-in by default.
- Publishing your reactions to this information via Atom publishing (or maybe some other unknown protocol) will become more important as well within social networks. A widely adaptable comment publishing protocol will emerge that would allow me to comment on an item, no matter where I read it, and have my comments visible to anyone else reading that item no matter where they decide to read it. My comments could also be mined for category information and push the original item into more relevancy for others in my social network.
- Within the enterprise, the use of authenticated feeds to access transaction and master data systems will rise. Some of these feeds will be user-oriented (e.g. my sales leads) while others will be persistent search based (e.g. a feed for all customer support issues related to a specific customer).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------Jeff Nolan is VP Corp Dev for NewsGator Technologies.