Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Why big media should support RSS

Dave Winer is exactly right on why big media companies should use and support RSS:
    I don't think that providing RSS feeds, if you do it right, lowers traffic, in fact I think you can gain traffic. I assume you'd publish links to your articles with brief descriptions, in your RSS feeds. So when the reader clicks on a link, they go to your site to read the full article (only if they're interested of course) and your traffic stays even. Of course those pages have ads, so your revenue doesn't decrease. In this view, think of your feeds as inexpensive advertising for your publication.
RSS feeds drive traffic (and thus advertising revenue) to the news sites of big media companies. By providing teasers in the RSS feeds, customers are drawn to the news site to read the full article.

Dave also points out, as I did a couple months back, that advertising in the RSS feed is counterproductive since it just reduces the number of people who will use the feed and thereby reduces advertising revenue from the news website.

Update: Detailed article on OJR about commercial interest and concerns about RSS.

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