Home RSS Aggregators, commoditization and value-add

RSS Aggregators, commoditization and value-add

Over on my ZDNet blog I’ve written a couple of posts that extend my analysis of The RSS Space. In the first post I explained the RSS Space categorization some more. I then noted that 4 of the 5 categories are at the mercy of The Big 3 of the Internet industry – Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Commoditization is the term for this. I think this is most true in the ‘Reader Services’ category, because it’s relatively easy these days to develop an RSS Aggregator. The real value in the future of ‘Reader Services’ will be in creating value-add services, which I believe is the direction that Bloglines, Newsgator, Rojo and the like are heading.

I finished that post with a bold prediction: the next Google will come from the ‘Publisher Services’ category, because it’s the one category in which The Big 3 have shown little interest in colonizing. I’m interested to know what my R/WW readers think of that – am I off my rocker? Let me know in the comments 😉

In a ZDNet post tonight, I reviewed Microsoft’s announcement of start.com becoming an extensible application platform. Start.com is introducing “web gadgets”, which are DHTML-based components that can be created by external developers and used on Start.com. According to Microsoft this will mean “anything from custom calendars to service integration.”

This leaves Google and Bloglines behind the 8 ball. Surely Google is building something with RSS or Atom? Well at least it’s finally released Blog Search. But… is it just me, or is Google Blog Search pretty tame/lame? I don’t think Technorati should give up its day job just yet, despite being hammered in the blogosphere lately.

In relation to RSS value-add, I’m most disappointed with Bloglines. It has not followed up with any RSS value-add developments since its “Universal Inbox” strategy back in March 2005. And I’ve switched to Rojo as my Aggregator of choice now, because Bloglines has failed to keep up with Rojo in functionality. Come on Ask Jeeves, you didn’t pay all that money to just sit on Bloglines did you?

There’s a lot happening in The RSS Space right now and I will be writing more on the topic, both on ZDNet and Read/Write Web. The RSS Space Wiki is going strong too, so feel free to add vendors to that list.

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