Ok, so we all know by now that RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is a great way to push the web content to your personalized portal.  Some of you might even be reading this posting via an RSS feed.  If you’re not using RSS yet, you might want to check out the NewsGator, which is a news aggregator that runs in Microsoft Outlook.

And it’s not all about news and blogs… Some creative usages include subscribing to iTunes’s 10 most popular songs…

So, how important is RSS?  Well, as of October 2005, 27% of Internet users consumed RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology.  4% of users knowingly used RSS. 

Microsoft, too, sees this as a very important technology.  As a matter of fact, Microsoft has an RSS development team which is continuing the RSS innovation, RSS will be integrated into the next version of Internet Explore, and the next version of Windows (Vista), will have RSS as part of the platform.

Google actually subscribes to RSS feeds…

In Sharon Housley’s opinion, the future of RSS is in the online marketing by corporations.  This will allow corporations to advertise to the right (qualified) audience, and the consumers, not to be bombarded by spam, but receive only the information they care about. 

But there are other business uses.  Imagine being able to be automatically notified of past due accounts in the last 60 days with accounts receivables > 100K?  How about subscribing to your CRM data via RSS…  The future of RSS is bright!

References: 
http://rssdiary.marketingstudies.net/content/analyzing_the_new_yahoo_rss_whitepaper_for_marketers.php
http://www.reallysimplesyndication.com/2005/06/22
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1831242,00.asp
http://www.feedforall.com/future-rss-not-blogs.htm