I recently finished a report on 'The RSS Space' for a client. In it I mapped out the current RSS vendor landscape, building on a blog post that Brad Feld wrote well over a year ago.
I've decided to publish the vendor map onto a JotSpot Wiki as a kind of 'Open Source' gesture. Currently the data is representative, because it only has about 50 vendors mapped. There are just too many RSS vendors in the world today for one person to comprehensively map them all. Which is why I've put it onto a wiki - I'd like to invite the community to flesh it out, so we can all benefit from the data.
How to edit the Wiki
The Wiki was set up with the help of the good people of JotSpot (I did try other Wiki solutions, but Ken from JotSpot went out of his way to help me). It's open for anybody to edit. Unfortunately because it's a really wide and long table, the formatting is not ideal. If anyone knows a way to improve the formatting, please let me know!
There's also an RSS feed, so that you and I can track changes.
What am I hoping is going to happen here? I really want people to add new vendors to the table - there are literally hundreds of RSS vendors out there. The more that are added to the table the better!
RSS Sectors - summary
Regarding how the RSS vendors are categorized on the Wiki. Below you'll see a table that summarizes the categories and provides examples. It wasn't just me who came up with this, in fact most of the credit goes to Brad Feld - who literally defined the first and last versions of the categories. Also a big thanks to (in alphabetical order) Ben Barren, David Beisel, Fergus Burns, Jeff Clavier, Dick Costolo, Fred Wilson, Charlie Wood.
Let me know what you think of the categories in the comments below. And of course please add to the RSS vendor list on the wiki.
Table 1: RSS Sectors
CATEGORY (--> means sub-category)
--> Feed Mgmt
Reader Services (including RSS Aggregators and Consumer
--> White Label
Content (including Podcasting, blog networks, news directories)
--> White Label / Microsites (e.g. Technorati Live8 promotion)
--> Embedded (e.g. Google network and Technorati partnership with Newsweek)
--> Market Research
But wait, there's more!
OK I do have ulterior motives for publishing the RSS vendor categorization and mapping. Firstly, I want to publicize my new career as a freelance Analyst in the RSS/Web 2.0/Social Media space. The categorization/mapping work was just the foundation for the final analysis report I delivered to my client. I'm available to do similar reports for other organizations. In other words: Analyst for Hire!
Secondly, I have a plan to extend the 'RSS Space' analysis report I did into a general industry report, which I will then try and earn a little money off - i.e. like a JupiterResearch or Forrester report, only far less expensive!
To be clear - what I've published on the wiki is just the RSS vendor mapping. The analysis report I wrote based on that data is for my client's eyes only - but I'm available to do reports for other companies. Think of the Analyst reports I do as building value on top of open data - very Web 2.0 don't you think? ;-)
What are you waiting for, get on over to the Wiki! :-)