Microsoft are about to make a big announcement later on today (24th June) about their support for RSS in IE according to Robert Scoble’s RSS announcement tease. Nothing has appeared at time of writing on the IE blog.
I assumed (incorrectly) that this group was interested in reading and writing lists of browser bookmarks in RSS. But I found out, when I visited Microsoft in April, that while this is one of the applications they were considering, they were actually thinking bigger…On Friday you’ll see how deeply integrated RSS is in the architecture of the browser. But that’s just the tip of what may turn out to be a very big iceberg.
Reading this made me think a bit more about RSS and its possible uses.
I love Technorati Watchlists – for the uninitiated, a Technorati Watchlist is an RSS feed for a search you have done on Technorati. Let me run that by you again. You do a search on Technorati for a term of interest, you get your results but you also get an RSS feed for that search! Add that RSS feed to your RSS Reader application and hey presto you have an automatically updating perpetual search you can check on in your RSS reader as often as you want.
Potential uses of this technology are manyfold:
- Keeping a close watch on what people are saying about you or your company
- Keeping a eye on the development of a particular technology or market
- Watching what is being said about your competitors!
What I started wondering was why don’t other companies provide you with RSS feeds of your searches on their sites? (Real) Estate Agents – you do a search for a particular house type, in a particular area – your RSS feed can watch for when a house matching your search criteria becomes available and alert you. Similarly for travel agents – you search for a sun holiday in a particular date range for a set budget, when it becomes available, you get notified through your feed.
I am sure there are lots of other potential uses of RSS just waiting to be rolled out (or thought up!). While blogging and news sites have really brought RSS mainstream, I think we are about to see an explosion in its use.
A podcast of this post is available here.
Another obvious use of saved search RSS feeds is for recruitment companies – jobseekers create their search subscribe to the RSS feed it generates and get their ideal job delivered to them through their RSS reader!