Read/Write Web has an interesting post predicting that the killer application for RSS will be to track Topic/Tag/Remix Feeds rather than to track individual blogs or news sources.
‘One of the reasons I think this may eventuate is that blogging is and always will be a minority sport (as I’ve referred to it in the past). The killer app for RSS probably won’t be geared towards the current ranks of bloggers and geeks. When RSS hits it big, it’ll be because ‘normal’ people start using it – your Mom and Dad, Frank from Marketing, Jessie from Payroll, Dave from the local dairy. They won’t be bloggers. They won’t be interested in writing or podcasting or anything like that. All they’ll want to do is track news and trends that are relevant to them.
Tools will evolve to let people easily set-up personalized searches for information relevant to them and subscribe to the results – using, you guessed it, RSS! Google will probably be the front-runner (see this video for a hint to the future – thanks twdanny for the reminder), PubSub will be another, current players like Bloglines and Technorati will be in amongst it, and who knows who else.’
If my own personal use of RSS feeds is anything to go by I think Richard is onto something here. You see I use Bloglines as much for tracking topics as I do to track specific news sources. For instance I have a search feed for ‘digital camera review’ which points me to numerous relevant articles each day. I also track a variety of Topix categories using RSS. Of course this is partly because I’m sourcing information for my blogs – but when I tell non blogging friends (and I do have a couple who do not blog) about RSS and how they could track news on their personal interests they are generally fascinated. They have no interest in tracking blogs (even mine!) but if they could find the latest information on their passions they will get themselves a news aggregator as quick as.
I suspect that RSS will always be used to track individual news sources (I’ll always do it) but topical tracking is certainly an area that will boom.