Just left a comment over at Dion HinchCliff Blog – How simple sharing extensions will change the web that generated these thoughts.
RSS (and now SSE to make it bi-directional) I think are great enhancements to web technology, and fully expect them to really catch on. The trouble with what we are doing however, is that we are simply copying what we are currently doing with broadcast technologies like TV, Radio, newspapers, etc.
These are all broadcast channels that aggregate information, and broadcast it out into the world. If you are interested you subscribe, if you are not, you don’t. What if however you like some of the “items” (as defined by RSS/SSE) but not all the items? Then you scan the channel for those items, and only read/listen/watch just those items. Too much noise (and hence effort to find articles that you are interested in) and you drop your subscription regards of how good a couple of items must have been.
We need to think smarter, and understand why search has grown to such an important aspect of the web. Individuals only want what they are interested in! Rather than subscribe to anything, individuals want control of what is delivered to them – regardless of the channel.
Search also has a byproduct that is making Google millions, and millions, and millions of dollars – it’s what I call the remnant of the service – If a whole lot of people are searching for a common “item” – then you have aggregation. What does marketing/advertising want? Aggregation! the more people that have been aggregated on a common theme/aspect – the more influence you have when you speak to them in that same theme/aspect.
What does everyone what – INFLUENCE! Advertisers want influence so that they can sell their products/service to the consumers that they have won influence over. Those that can deliver the influence, become rich. Period. In fact, they become very rich.
My idea – the one that I’ve been working on for nearly 15 years – is not to make Google rich, not to make AOL rich, not to make Microsoft rich – but to leverage the power of consumers – and sell ourselves (in a very controlled, and opt-in way) back those who want to advertise to us! Google sells us (at least what are actions are) back to them, Radio stations sells us, TV sells us, Newspapers sells us – do we make any money from everybody selling us and what we do?
In order to do this however, we (consumers of the world) should not subscribe to them – but allow them to subscribe to us! That means we need the ability to publish what we are interested in, and have them drop information/offers/”items” that match our criteria. Take that criteria down – and the messages stop – put up a different critieria – and the messages come.
How do we make money from all this? We don’t, but we will save money – and that allows us to keep more money. Everyone knows the law in profits – earn more revenue or drop expenses – both make the bottom line better.
Rather than advertisers spending millions with Google to obtain influence over us – why don’t we give them influence (when we want) and have them drop their prices instead? Or have them provide better service – service tailored in the way that I want to be serviced. Take all that money from merchants that they are spending on advertising – and have them spend it on us instead?
Sounds like a great idea to me.
In order to do it – we have to be able to cross channels – and find the best “Item” that suits our needs and/or interests.