RSS and Weblogs

Writes Steve Gillmor in Link free or die: “RSS is an XML syndication standard authored by Dave Winer of SOAP fame, and currently mired in a standards struggle that extends to even what the acronym stands for. Winer’s Radio UserLand Weblog authoring tool both aggregates and emits RSS objects that can be consumed by other Weblogs in a modular and deeply viral way. But IE’s crummy editing tools slow down the cycle by forcing bloggers into repetitious cut-and-paste fests to keep the ideas flowing.”

Adds Gillmor:

As Don Box discovered and Jon Udell shared with the Weblog community in pseudo-code
while (true) {
ScanRSSFeeds();
RantAboutStuffYouSawFromRSSFeeds();
ExposeYourRantsViaRSS();
}

RSS can become the anchor for the new desktop. It can do much more than sharing content; it can also be used for distributing and collecting enterprise events. I’ll be writing some thoughts as part of a new Tech Talk series about the Next Generation Desktop, which can be built around weblogs, RSS, outliners, directories and the digital dashboard, with an Information Refinery at its core.

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Low-cost Airlines and Software

A look at what’s happening in the US airlines industry can give a foretaste of what could happen in the software industry. As you read the following excerpt from an NYT article (via IHT) on the future of air travel:

In many cases, the low-cost airlines created a new market: people who would never have flown because of high prices. During economic downturns, their niche expands because cash-strapped passengers used to flying full-service airlines, including business travelers, defect to them.

“What’s happened is that there is a market segment that values price over additional features,” said John Quelch, a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School who sits on the board of EasyJet, based in London. “The major airlines competed really by adding benefits over the years. Their proposition has been, ‘We have something more over what other guys are offering.’ The niche value airlines have been able to come under that pricing umbrella. They have identified consumers not interested in additional frills.”

Think of the niche markets in software as the small and medium enterprises in emerging markets. They don’t want the frills and cannot pay much. We need the equivalent of a Southwest for the enterprise software industry. That is what we at Emergic are hoping to do.

GoodContacts: GoodIdea

Writes Stewart Alsop (Fortune) about a new software program: “[GoodContact’s] goal is to help you maintain accurate contact information. The program does this by sending e-mails to people in your electronic address book, showing them the addresses and phone numbers and so on in their file, and asking them to update it for you. Once they respond, your desktop computer’s contact-management program is automatically updated.”

Alsop’s Dream: “Imagine that we all have one phone number and one e-mail address that knows where we are. Imagine that the network keeps track of our location and our personal data, and automatically updates anyone who might be interested. Imagine that we don’t have to think about whether the right phone number or address is stored in the network or our PC or our PDA or our phone. Imagine that all these little details of personal life are just handled. ”