I see these lists all the time, and they never cease to amaze me.
Steve Rubel offers us a post entitled “35 Ways You Can Use RSS Today.”
Here’s a few samples:
Get hotel deals from Marriott
Learn a new word every day using RSS
Track the latest sales with Dealcatcher
Subscribe to the Target circular
Subscribe to movie reviews
Go ahead and check out all 35 if you’d like.
Now, tell me — couldn’t you rewrite that headline to read:
“35 Ways People Used Email in 1998 (And Still Do Today)”
I mean, come on. Just as an obvious example, people have been learning a new word via email for forever. And heck, even I published an aggregated movie review ezine back in the 90s!
Worse, every single one of the 35 listed by Rubel can be done with email today. It’s not like opt-in content delivery originated with RSS feeds.
Here’s the point.
Recently released studies re-affirm that people love getting content by email, and don’t get why they should switch to RSS. Of course when you ask the question “Do you want to aggregate RSS feeds?” and get a negative response, it’s as if you had asked “Do you want to access Web pages with HTTP?” in 1995 (good one, Scott!).
Regardless, people simply don’t like change. And when you tout RSS on the basis that it does the exact same thing as email when it comes to content delivery, you’ll get nothing more than a shrug and a blank look.
The way to sell RSS is to tell people why it’s better than email for them.
And I agree that we’ve got to stop calling it RSS. It’s just not going to fly with the masses.
I’m warming up to “content feed” myself. What do you think?
Please feel free to offer any brilliant feed branding ideas in the comments.
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