Tuesday 30 September 2008

The Enterprise RSS Value Chain (under construction)

I’m currently working on a new article for Image & Data Magazine about Enterprise RSS and I also have in mind, based on popular demand, the idea of running another short workshop at IPP Consulting on this topic.

One idea I have in my head at the moment is to describe a simple model for understanding how and where Enterprise RSS can add value… that is, the Enterprise RSS Value Chain.

At the moment, this value chain consists of four steps:

  1. Publish - Data source publish feed content;
  2. Process - Feed data is processed in some way;
  3. Republish - Processed and/or unprocessed feeds are republished (there are a number of different potential benefits); and
  4. Consume - Feed content is consumed by end-users.

Underpinning these process steps would ideally be an overarching management process. There are also some user and activity flows that are little hard to describe here in bullet point form that also affect the value chain.

Overall, I’m pretty confident I can map a range of usage scenarios and technologies to this model, and while doing this demonstrate in certain circumstances the value gap in those approaches.

For example, consider that in most organisations that are intentionally making use of feeds, their value chain probably only consists of a limited publish step (i.e. systems that natively generate feeds) and a rudimentary consume step (i.e. through one channel).

What do you think? And more importantly, would you like to attend a workshop on the Enterprise RSS Value Chain to explore how RSS can add value?


  1. I think the RSS value chain is going to be very valuable. Just a couple of immediate thoughts. The "process" step for me includes things like filtering, augmentation, recombination, re-categorisation, etc. I also think it would be interesting to consider non-human actors as "consumers".

    You know I want to work on this with you. How about the morning of October 15th?

  2. Anonymous1:40 am

    I think looking at it in reverse order might bring a needed discipline to getting the implementation right.
    Different audiences demand different consumption usage scenarios as well as consumption mechanisms and starting at the user touch point leaves you with a more business focused path to implementation. This approach also feeds into Andrews suggestion where filtering, augmentation, blending requirements become easily apparent to make the program a success.

    RSS does much better as a transport mechanism as opposed to a consumption model (via a traditional RSS reader) if it’s going to have a chance of gaining mainstream, widespread adoption.

  3. @andrew mitchell
    I think we could consider non-human actors if they are seperate or external from primary feed system.
    Great idea to follow the chain backwards. Probably good to look at it from both directions when looking for gaps.

  4. Anonymous7:48 am

    Just some words which stand out in my mind. Let you fill the gaps....

  5. Anonymous4:16 pm

    I'd like to see more emphasis on the social aspect - user generated and controlled.
    Use of ratings and tag clouds...
    Personalised agrregation..
    Moving away from a transmission / acquisition model.
    ABB ;-)

  6. @anne bb
    Yes, there should be a social dimension to this... I was trying to get at that with the comment about user and activity flows, because the basic model of publish doesn't account for that. But of course Enterprise RSS should also exist as part of an overall social media system.

  7. I agree that the social element is important. However it is not always social. My company is already getting value our of RSS as a bit of intranet plumbing and there is nothing social about it.

    There's also a danger here in trying to "boil the ocean" by attempting to construct a model for all of E2.0.

    How do we include the social aspect without losing the Enterprise RSS focus?

  8. @andrew mitchell
    Another frame of reference for me is my Intranet 2.0 types:
    1. Tactical Social Computing;
    2. Enterprise Web 2.0 (or a Web 2.0 Oriented Intranet); and
    3. Enterprise 2.0.
    A type 2 approach doesn't have to be social.

  9. Anonymous8:25 pm

    and just to be the devil's advocate here... which part of 2.0 isn't about people?
    People = social - no?
    ABB ;-)

  10. Anonymous9:14 am

    We have RSS for our blog at work, but there are a few concerns.

    1. they are only out-of-the-box summary feeds (personally I like that people have to visit the site to read more)

    2. you generally can't leave a comment from an RSS Reader (which doesn't matter for summary feeds) ...whereas in our email subscriptions we just hit reply to leave a comment.
    BTW-we can also post by email.

    3. people don't want, or forget, to use IE7 as an RSS Reader (perhaps we need full-scale seriousness like Newsgator server edition, etc...)

    But in the same breath, people are asking for a separate dashboard for keeping up with all this blog content, as since we introduced blogs (and subscribed to them via email), they are getting more emails than ever.

    I posted on that here

    At this stage a solution for email detox is not just blogs alone, but blogs consuming via RSS.

    I think if we one-day get Outlook 2007 (integrated RSS) things will be more manageable...rather than seperating email and RSS, you can still use Outlook as your one and only dashboard.

    In the future we will look into RSS alternatives, like an Intranet watchlist page, or a social network friend stream page, or iGoogle type startpage

    I think RSS is not just handy to be updated, but as a re-syndicating tool, the fact that you can take the content of a blog, and feature it as a widget on a website is huge.

    I also agree with another comment on search feeds, and remixing (splicing feeds together and filtering feeds)...this is making your own personal news from a pool of content (what the new web experience is all about)

    Another thing is RSS topic guides or libraries like Blogbridge feed library. I think this is important as people don't know what blogs exist or which to read.

    This also brings OPML into picture - if you package the essential RSS feeds for a type of job, in one instance that new person can upload that OPML (or actually subscribe to it, like Blogbridge)and be in the loop...now that's practical! See more http://libraryclips.blogsome.com/2006/05/07/internal-communication-blogs-and-km20/

    What about SLE feeds?

    What about SSE feeds?

    And last of all Blogjects feeds, something like process feeds I guess, just like your washing machine posting an RSS update log when it's stuck or finished.

    The day enterprises start complaining about RSS overload is ironically a day of success.


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