Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Syndication

July 6th, 2004 · No Comments

[via Roland Tanglaos and Globeblogger] HBR has an article about Syndication:

What makes feeds so powerful? Say a consumer is a Thomas Pynchon fan and would like to know when any first editions of Gravitys Rainbow go up for auction on eBay. If shes not subscribing to syndication feeds, she might bookmark a search and then make a note to herself to do that search regularly. And if there were other items she wanted to troll for on eBay, she would have to bookmark those searches, too. In addition, if she wanted to know when shed accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to book a free trip to Delhi, and when a new job was posted by a certain company, she could add those bookmarks to her list and try to remember to check them. Its a cumbersome and unreliable system.

But, if she were to subscribe to syndication feeds, the information shes after would instantaneously flow to her with virtually no effort on her part. Shed be alerted the moment Gravitys Rainbow appeared, the moment more frequent flyer miles hit her account, the moment the job was posted, and so on.

What sort of information should companies syndicate? The better question is perhaps, What sort shouldnt they syndicate? Countless data-generating events in your organization are candidates for syndication. Corporate news is an obvious place to start. But syndication should not stop with press releases.

If your organization is a shipping company, for example, why not turn order status into a feed? If its a manufacturer, why not turn shop-floor flow into a feed? Disney already uses feeds to distribute news content, but it also uses them internally to share information about ongoing projects. Status updates and information on project workflow stream out to team members and managers who subscribe to the feed.

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