Web tools, Web Aggregators, RSS search tools

John Robb writes:
Joi worries about weblog syndication and Microsoft. One thing everyone needs to understand is that…

Joi worries about weblog syndication and Microsoft. One thing everyone needs to understand is that in this syndication debate, the juice in the aggregator tool space and not with weblog tools. Weblog tools are the weak sister in this relationship.

Why? There is so much out there that is worth subscribing to if it had a feed (from HBO high-definition schedules to low cost air fares on routes I frequently travel). In this area current aggregators just fall short, nor is it possible for the small companies currently producing aggregators to do the required work needed to extend them. This will be the place where Microsoft via Longhorn will clean up.

Additionally, the writing tools are much less important than the tools by which you aggregate and manipulate the data you subscribe to (the ratio of readers to writers will always be 100 to 1).

A smart approach for Microsoft would be to embrace the quirky weblog world’s RSS syndication format, put an advanced RSS aggregator with a world class search engine on everyone’s desktop, and extend the RSS format into everything else. The fact that it started with weblogs will be historical footnotes in five years (and to say that they shouldn’t call it RSS is just silly).

Remember the early web days? Everyone had a web site and editing on the web site was pretty common. After a while tools like Microsoft Publisher/.Front Page and the others took the editing offline. It appears the same trend seems to be happening on the blogsphere. Jon points out correctly that the aggregators would play a vital role. What about the offline blog editors? As blogging API matures, the tools support would improve on this front. I see the Adobes and Microsofts of the world jumping in and adding support for these APIs. What about the opensource world? Would they take the hint and jump in? Or would they end up following? I see $$$ for tools that provide support for community blogging, with blogs becoming part of the corporate culture and corporate blogs poping up this is one interesting area.

Scoble writes:
Sunday essay: Why Microsoft won’t beat Six Apart.

Sunday essay: Why Microsoft won’t beat Six Apart.

I have been asked by several teams and people here at Microsoft about weblogging and what I’d like to see in a weblogging tool or service. I can’t give away too much details, cause that would help our competitors. But, if I were a Microsoft competitor (like Six Apart), I wouldn’t worry too much yet, because no team has asked me the important question yet.

What’s that?

“How do you get the A-list bloggers using Microsoft’s stuff?”

Lately, I’ve been doing my own asking and more and more of the “A listers” are answering “Type Pad” from Six Apart. Clearly Six Apart has figured out what the advanced users want and will recommend to their friends.

Anyway, Microsoft tends to focus on the mass market, not the connectors. I think in the weblog world that’s a mistake. But, maybe it doesn’t matter. How many AOL’ers are there now? How many people using Live Journal?

And I still like my Radio UserLand. If some team here at Microsoft gets me to switch, you’ll know they started asking the right questions.

From scoble’s post it appears that Microsoft will be adding features into their OS/ shell. It is known that MS is going to be having lite version of its next generation SQL server and web services support. I think it would be a peace of cake of them to integrate RSS/blogging capabilities into the shell. But I think it would be a plus pack Blog edition (similar to the Plus edition!) I just hope that Microsoft uses it power to help consolidate the RSS community rather than creating another standard (Although I highly doubt it)

One leads to another and heres what I think would happen. If aggregators become the defacto standard then it opens up another avenue of tools. One would then would want to be able to search the subscribed feeds for info. So for example, I use feeddaemon to read my feeds, I would love to have a search tab that would let me search my aggregated content that is offline/online. This is some place where google would miss out(till they support RSS searching). Heres where feedster comes in. If feedster provides APIs to tool vendors/developers to use and integrate into their tools wouldnt it be cool?

This market is going to explode :)! There you go


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