Back in 2004, RSS was The Next Big Thing. The pundits breathlessly speculated on how it would change the Web, with everyone subscribing to content rather than browsing. But adoption wasn’t the hockey-stick the pundits expected, and the hype over RSS subsided into the background. But out of the spotlight, RSS has continued to grow, and companies like SimpleFeed have continued to innovate new and useful ways to leverage RSS as a powerful marketing platform. Recently SimpleFeed announced Version 3, a ground-up re-engineering of the SimpleFeed application, a powerhouse of RSS functionality used by companies as diverse as Sears, SanDisk and Electronic Arts to let prospects and customers pick their own stream of information, from product updates to coupons and promotions.
RSS (Real Simple Syndication] makes the delivery of all kinds of content easy over the Web, enabling users to subscribe to blogs, videos, music, news, even product sales and coupons, and have that content delivered directly to their desktops. From a marketing perspective, RSS provides a critical alternative to email and Web marketing. Since it is a subscription medium, RSS is more tuned to customer’s interests, making it more relevant, less intrusive, and the resulting metrics more reliable.
SimpleFeed helps marketers leverage RSS by making it easy to publish feeds that consumers can subscribe to for timely information and offers they want. SimpleFeed makes it easy to:
V3 adds some new and powerful innovations. The most interesting is the development of Search-Based Feeds. On many business sites, users rely on the on-site search engine to find relevant information. SimpleFeed V3 allows companies to provide RSS feeds for search results–so if users want to subscribe to any new information or updates on the same topic as their search query, they can receive alerts automatically. In essence, this allows users to go beyond the pre-defined RSS feeds companies normally provide to create their own customized feeds based on what the details of their search. V3 also includes enhanced analytics and tools to publish information to formats other than RSS, allowing content to be automatically published to other applications.
As a personal disclaimer, I met Mark Carlson, the CEO of SimpleFeed back when they were first launching, and I’ve stayed in touch ever since because I think they have a cool technology, and the right focus for a marketing application provider. They’re constantly innovating new tools and techniques to improve their product, and the features are always focused on empowering marketers. I’m impressed with how they’ve weathered the hype and post-hype cycles of market buzz, and maintained a steady pace of customer growth and product development. Congratulations on V3, guys.