Friday, August 17, 2007

Making Money with Full RSS Feeds

I recently wrote about the struggle to get paid for free content and software, including the situation with full RSS feeds, it's going to be difficult to make money.

When Freakonomics recently moved to the New York Times web site, they switched the RSS feeds to partial feeds. When this happened, the small, but very loyal full-feed reading fans of the content shrieked like little girls who’d just dropped their ice cream cone on the pavement.

They’ll make their official decision on Monday. They need to get paid, and I don’t blame the NYT or the crew at Freakonomics if they say, “Sorry, you’ll have to live with it.” The situation with Freakonomics got me thinking about solutions.

I really enjoy full RSS feeds and someday I believe a significantly larger portion of the world will as well though this might still be a ways out. In the meanwhile we will see less and less full feeds. Unless someone designs (and this could be done in-house as well) a product to work with blogging software and other content management/web publishing services where when new content is “posted” it’s done in such a way that the following happens:

1. On your site, things work exactly as they always did
2. Somehow there is a mirrored version of the content that is automatically served up with advertisements in the body of the actual posted content. This would become the feeder for the full feed RSS content.

I don’t think this is a huge challenge, but it’s also not a teeny tiny one either. It has to work with various content publishing systems and with various ad serving technologies and not add anything to the administrative overhead.

I hope it gets built. I really love full RSS feeds on the iPhone. If it doesn’t get built, ultimately everyone will go partial feed.

Hopefully Google and others are already working on something like this.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Well, it may not be exactly the service you envisioned, but there is a workaround for the Freakonomics partial feed problem:

http://labs.echoditto.com/projects/fulltextrss/?url=http%3A%2F%2Ffreakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com%2Frss2.xml