Tuesday, June 12, 2007

RSS Toolbox from Mashable

The Mashable site has posted a great overview of RSS tools. I figured i would post it here so i can refer to it myself as needed.

The only thing that i think is missing (well at least based on my current interests) is a listing of RSS Enterprise server solutions that vendors like Attensa, KnowNow and Newsgator have.


mbriggs said...

Thanks for mentioning the RSS tools overview as well as the RSS Enterprise solutions. Very useful! It begs the question as to which internal content should be "RSSized" first? Should there be a plan, or does it tend to happen somewhat randomly (or in pockets) in most large enterprises? There is a little bit of chicken and egg as no one will bother with an RSS tool/reader until there is sufficient content.

James said...

mbriggs: good comment, you made an interesting observation that I'll add on to: more than 95% of all enterprise systems don't produce content in the RSS/Atom format today. However, there is an alternative for enterprises that recognize the power of RSS/syndication and want to leverage it in the enterprise.

KnowNow (I head up marketing there) addresses the RSS content problem by RSS-enabling non-RSS systems. By transforming content from these existing systems into RSS, business users can prioritize the content based on business need. eg, Marketers at our customer CSAA have different content needs than the business analysts that use the system at Wells Fargo (another customer). Enterprise RSS projects, as a result, tend to be driven by business priority and existing enterprise architectures, source systems, and business purpose.

For those interested in more info on enterprise RSS, you can download a free Forrester report (Enterprise RSS Tackles Information Worker Overload) from our homepage.

daniela barbosa said...


Yes. and it is not only RSS tools/readers that are not 'adopted' until there is sufficient user relevant content. You have had a couple of posts on your blog on the topic of creating content and wiki adoption which address the same issue from an content creator perspective.

i have a customer that is evaluating a RSS enterprise tool- the problem is that when users first see their RSS reader there is little to no content that is relevant to what they need to do their job better. Sure some corporate feeds about company news, policies or marketing content (content they are used to going elsewhere for) but usually nothing that is unique to them.

so what we do for example is taking a sales rep's client list from their CRM system (or other type of customer list) and automatically subscribe them to content that triggers sales activities. When they are introduced to the tool- it has relevant content that immediately (hopefully) leads to action and ensures adoption going forward.

James- thanks for the link to Forrester report.

Attensa said...

Good discussion developing here! I completely agree about the importance of establishing initial value with users, to promote higher adoption rates. Great idea for getting your sales team to buy-in from the start.

Additionally, another part of the enterprise RSS equation is the scenario that develops as time passes, when the RSS channels start to get overwhelming as users aggregate more and more information (and as James mentions, more and more sources of data become available as RSS) -- information overload. Attensa has been developing AttentionStream technology to address this, where user behavior is analyzed to prioritize inbound information at both the feed and article level, to help cull out the less relevant noise. This data can also be aggregated at the user-group level by the IT team, to see how different business units interact with the RSS channel.

It's also critical that RSS users can access the data from any system -- and that it provides a synchronized view. For example, your sales team should be able to grab their feeds from Outlook while in the office, the web while at someone else's computer, their Blackberry while on the road, etc. And, have their actions synced across all mediums.