Blog Post

RSS Roundup: VC Funding; Yahoo’s Plans; Connecting Information

Dave Winer asks Jim Moore, a member of the new RSS VC fund, about his interest in RSS“>RSS and the response to the fund. “RSS is more than a format, it’s an approach to creating systems. He likened our web content management software to corporate publishing platforms, like Atex, which were cumbersome, hard to use, and even harder to manage. … The whole point of RSS, Jim argues (imho correctly) is to make connecting systems together so easy that users can do it themselves, without any help from system managers or vendors.” Winer’s example: the podcasting community created and maintains a directory consisting of individual files interlinked and joined together by OPML. By comparison, he says Apple and Odeo are using the Atex corporate model. My two cents: A lot of people are very content with the LCD (lowest common denominator) approach. iTunes works because it’s easy for a large number of people to use. RSS, OPML, etc. have to nail ease of use.

— BW’s Heather Green chats with Scott Gatz, Yahoo senior director of personalization, or as she calls him, “Yahoo’s RSS honcho.” Yahoo is offering RSS options for some services, like signing up specific job listings, and will expand use but centralized services aren’t being replaced. “My Yahoo, which was redesigned last year around RSS is seeing good success, he says. With millions (under 10 million) of the 25 million My Yahoo subscribers using RSS, it’s now No. 1 RSS newsreader…”

— That conversation was touched off by a post from VC Fred Wilson, musing about the future of RSS as a way of managing information rather than having it all delivered. Now he’s trying to figure out what that means for RSS investment opportunities. “I haven’t solved that problem yet, but I am working on it. I think it means that we need to ‘go up the stack’ as they say and look for applications and services that can use the infrastructure that Microsoft is building into the operating system layer to add value. I haven’t gotten beyond that. But I’d be interested in talking to any entrepreneurs who have interesting ideas how to profit from this new world of feed ubiquity we are going to have soon.”