Rafe Needleman looks at a couple of RSS newsreaders – NewsGator and Scopewares RSS Reader, and the business potential of the segment. His conclusion:
Most Internet users will likely get their RSS software from the same companies that provide them with their e-mail software and online gateways: Microsoft , AOL, and Yahoo.
RSS is incredibly importantfor publishers. Its a new way to reach users that leaves them in control (users can delete a feed at any time), and thus more satisfied and more likely to remain customers. But I fear that the RSS reader software business is going to be small, bloody, and ultimately not very profitable.
I would agree with Rafe – RSS readers are enablers. The key is how to integrate them into new content consumption experiences.
On a related note, Dina Mehta writes about her wishlist for RSS aggregators: “What i’d really like is an aggregator of aggregators – let me explain this in my non-techie way – a place where i could go to – punch in something like ‘dessert recipes’ or something more dynamic like ‘ecological imbalance’ – and i’d then get a list of sites/blogs that have them – with a little RSS feed button by the side of each. So i don’t really have to wade through a whole lot everytime i want an update on the topic. And if there was a rating or ranking system attached to the feed, better still…Something like Wikipedia with RSS feeds too would be great.”
Additional ideas for RSS aggregators/readers from A VC and David Galbraith.