This week: The future of RSS, Amazon turns 10, Yahoo HotJobs, big bucks for blogging, techie post of the week - RSS systems.
New Sponsor & Special Offer For R/WW Readers
I'm pleased to announce Onfolio as the new sponsor of the Weekly Wrap-Up! To celebrate, Onfolio has a special offer for Read/Write Web readers. The following coupon code entitles the bearer to $30 off a purchase of Onfolio Professional before August 31st, a 30% saving off the normal $99.95 price. To use the coupon, enter it at the time of purchase. Coupon Code: RM857202
RSS Growing Up So Fast
A number of posts came out this week with thoughts on how RSS is evolving and the need for new kinds of feed management tools. VC Fred Wilson thinks centralised RSS Readers (like Bloglines) are on the way out. What's needed, according to Fred, is new ways to manage our feeds and make them available to other apps to use. An example he gives is "applications and services that can use the [RSS] infrastructure that Microsoft is building into the operating system layer to add value."
Don't miss the comments to Fred's post, there are some excellent points. e.g. Charlie Wood says that Feedburner is a great example of a "value added service" (they would be my prime example too). Heather Green then comments "What I am interested in watching develop are the services that are created on top of RSS, like maybe a service that parses for resumes or job listings."
In a similar vein, Tommy Lee look-a-like Nivi wrote an interesting post entitled RSS is the TCP/IP Packet of Web 2.0. In it he asked: "will RSS become the fundamental building block of Web 2.0 and the Internet Operating System?". See also his follow-up post, featuring an analysis of Jonathan Aquino's "command line for the Web" app YubNub.
Other thought-provoking posts on these themes include David Beisel's musings, Heather Green's The Evolution of RSS, According to Yahoo, and Michael Parekh's theory about "Broadband Content End-Runs". All of this is head-spinning stuff, but well worth pondering if you're interested in finding out how RSS is beginning to outgrow its blogging roots.
Amazon Turns 10
Amazon celebrated its 10th birthday. Amazon is in a way is the quintessential Web 2.0 company, because they've been using the Web as a platform for all of their 10-year existence. They recognized the power of the Read/Write Web before most Internet companies, by inviting their users to contribute reviews and rank products - amongst many other community-enabling features. They were one of the first bigco's to open up their data with APIs and they made it easy for third-party sellers to become affiliates (currently more than a quarter of Amazon's sales are via a third party). Not to mention that Amazon sold products from The Long Tail long before Chris Anderson popularized the term.This week
And boy did Amazon celebrate in style! They ran promotions for a Hall of Fame, Wish List Spree, Special Deliveries and finished up with A Show of Thanks - a live concert with "Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Bill Maher, Hall of Fame writers, and exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage from the Lord of the Rings trilogy."
nb: I have a post brewing about Amazon's future, which hopefully I'll publish this week.
Yahoo's Job Search Engine
This week Yahoo announced a new "jobs search engine" - and it's a shot across the bow for the online jobs market. Yahoo HotJobs crawls the Web looking for job vacancies and automatically adds them to its index. Although this will probably "cannibalize" its paid listings, it'll also take a big bite out of its two main rivals in this market - Monster and CareerBuilder.
Forrester analyst Charlene Li predicts that the next big thing in online classifieds is social classifieds, "where the ability to connect people to each other will be the hallmark of success." This is actually already a feature of social networking sites such as LinkedIn and niche market blogs like PaidContent.org.
Professional Blogging Pays Off
My Australian cousin Darren Rowse announced recently that he got a Google Adsense cheque for "between $10k and $20k ($USD)" for the month of May. Holy Gamoly! Darren works extremely hard on writing content for his 20 or so blogs, so full credit to him for the financial rewards.
The income revelation led to a Slashdotting and the inevitable blog-trashing comments from the /. community. But some commenters had good things to say, like this one: "He [Darren] is just an info junkie who has happened to find a way to make a living at his passion."
Professional blogging is different things to different people. For some, it's part of their day job. For me, it's my way of trying to get a day job like those guys ;-). Reputation is my currency in the blogosphere and I'm hoping it pays off in the long run.
Techie Post of the Week: RSS is for creating systems
"RSS is more than a format, it's an approach to creating systems. [...] The whole point of RSS, Jim [Moore] argues (imho correctly) is to make connecting systems together so easy that users can do it themselves, without any help from system managers or vendors. This is a brilliant observation, in all my years thinking about RSS, I had never approached it from this direction."
I'm not entirely sure what that means yet, but if Dave says it's a brilliant observation - then obviously the rest of us need to think seriously about it.
That's a wrap for another week!