Saturday 12 April 2008

A world without Enterprise RSS

This post about "Enterprise RSS" is really more about organisations distributing information externally by RSS, however they make an excellent argument for the Enterprise RSS for internal enterprise users:

"all trends and predictions for 2007 indicate that there will be a seismic shift to mobile consumption of information. People with PDA’s, cell phones and RSS readers don’t surf the web anymore - they don’t have to. The content comes to them, when and where they want it."

Now, as I commented over on the ReadWriteWeb blog in response to Marshall Kirkpatrick's Seven Tips for Making the Most of Your RSS Reader:

"I would expand your tip about using multiple services to include using multiple devices. What I like about services like Google Reader and Bloglines is they offer both a full Web client and a reduced mobile client. I read RSS on different devices, but I don't want to read the same feed twice. I also use services like Yahoo! Pipes to mashup feeds in smart ways.

This is actually one of the reasons I'm so interested in Enterprise RSS and kicked off the idea of an Enterprise RSS Day of Action on the 24th April.

From this perspective, while a lot of your tips are great, they don't work inside the firewall if you want to consume internal and external RSS feeds at the same time, mashed up as appropriate, a consumed on different devices and in a way where you only read a feed once. But its not your tips... enterprise users need to agitate for better RSS support inside their organizations to get the RSS reading experience they deserve."

Enterprise users are lacking some of the tools and features available through the Web 2.0 consumer RSS ecosystem. And Enterprise RSS users want their RSS "when and where they want it" too!

The problem is that without Enterprise RSS this is hard to achieve, as most basic enterprise approaches to RSS use a simple Web content publishing approach - i.e. RSS content is published like any other Web content but consumed through an existing application or a desktop reader. However, the RSS content has no idea if anyone has actually read it and if a user wants to consume RSS feeds on different devices or even from different reading applications on the same device, well... bad luck.

Another way of thinking about this, as I've just commented here on my own blog, is imagine what life would be like for enterprise email users if we didn't have messaging infrastructure like Microsoft Exchange? Outlook would just be another email program and what would power features like directory services, offline access, public folders, Outlook Web Access (OWA) and calendaring? Overall it would be a pretty limited user experience.

Personally I think that a pretty limiting RSS experience for enterprise users - nothing like the rich options we take for granted as described by Marshall.

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