Email: Enterprise RSS Targets email Clutter

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first_imgWhile push technologies of the ’90s failed to take hold, ten years later another technology with similar benefits is gathering steam and is even making in-roads into the enterprise.  It is RSS — Really Simple Syndication.Technically RSS is not ‘push’ since the RSS client needs to poll regularly for updates rather than the server pushing out information to the client as it becomes available, but from a user perspective, the result is similar.  RSS aggregator software presents a dashboard of feeds to the user and flags items that have been updated.  Instead of having to spend the time browsing to each of your favorite web sites, RSS readers can aggregate and alert you to any changes that happen on those pages and present the information in a single location.Forrester’s research shows that RSS has a loyal following, but that only 2 percent of web users are consuming RSS feeds and that more than half of that number are users under 40 years old. Forrester attributes slow overall adoption of RSS by ‘average’ Internet users to the fact that it is a technology that hasn’t been packaged well.  ‘RSS’ sounds too geeky and unapproachable to many users.  And the ‘Orange Button’ that defines the URL for the RSS feed doesn’t help.  Click on that Orange Button and you are presented with a page of color-coded XML code — something many people don’t want to deal with.But the RSS geek factor may shrink in 2007, especially because of Microsoft.  Microsoft’s Outlook 2007 email client integrates support of RSS feeds into the Outlook dashboard — RSS feeds can be organized as Outlook folders.  And Outlook isn’t alone.  Microsoft’s Sharepoint Server 2007 and IBM Lotus Notes Domino 8 will all provide RSS support.What does this mean for the enterprise?  RSS feeds have the potential to redirect the flood of information that today is flowing into email inboxes into a spam-free, much more targeted, self-organizing stream of information.  It provides a channel of specialized information that users can tune into for keeping up to date.  Within the enterprise, RSS feeds can support collaboration among members on a project team.  RSS project feeds can be used to summarize project progress and status.  Feeds can also provide a much simpler and efficient process for distributing and circulating report information.last_img

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