I’ve just been listening to G’day World latest Podcast interview with Mark Jones, Deputy Managing Director at IDG Communications. It is a pretty long interview – but the section that I found most interesting was his grappling with RSS feeds and Blogging as a Magazine publisher.
It is fascinating to hear both the excitement about the technology but also the frustration (wrong word?) with finding a way to measure and monetize it. One of the interesting threads of the conversation was how RSS is impacting email newsletters.
Traditionally people would subscribe to newsletters and information would be sent to them by marketers who know who they are, where they live, their age etc.
With RSS there are similarities (ie it is a permission based method of communicating information) – however the challenge comes when analyzing who is reading it. With RSS gives readers almost complete anonymity and puts the power back in the hand of the reader in terms of when and how they access the information.
This brings all kinds of difficulties for monetizing this exchange of information. Will advertisers be willing to sponsor RSS feeds when all they know is the total number of those subscribing to them? No more demographics which has been key in raising sponsorship for newsletters.