Monday, October 15, 2007

More support for APML this time from NewsGator one step closer to the Enterprise?

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Lately there has been more and more support for APML (Attention Profile Markup Language) a topic that i have been covering and a standard that i am involved in. Today's announcement by Nick Bradbury that FeedDemon, NetNewsWire and NewsGator Inbox will soon Support APML is another great piece of news for those of us interested in establishing Attention standards. Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read/WriteWeb starts his post on this new announcement asking Web users who are interested in personalization, privacy and increasing sophistication in their applications to take note and goes on to provide yet another good description of what APML is and what the benefits are.

Although i am certainly interested in Attention in the consumer space, it is the Enterprise space that i am the most interested in and as vendors like NewsGator that also have solutions that support enterprise users join in on the fun, things are only getting to be more exciting (although I suspect a long way off). Here is why:

Enterprise users especially information workers who do a lot of research typically have access to a handful of premium content tools to ensure comprehensive access to the information they need to do their jobs. If they are lucky (and there really are very few who are) they might have their logins managed by their single sign-on servers, most likely however they are logging into multiple ASP services. Note: the very very very few lucky ones might even have federated searching across some their services.

Once they are logged in however (yes i do believe that OpenId should also be supported by Enterprise information providers but let's leave that for another conversation although an important one) they probably have access to alerting tools across all those services to filter and deliver content exactly as they need it. So for each service they must personalize and tell the system what topics they are interested in so they can be alerted based on their 'attention' needs. Even if they use each service for a specific task- most of their information needs are the same across the set and can be aggregated. Every time the users 'attention' changes they need to update all the services manually. In addition not every service supports RSS outputs so the user is also receiving the content in multiple formats for example:

Today's announcement by NewsGator, one of the RSS market leaders in the enterprise space that they are supporting APML is a great step towards having Enterprise grade tools support the model that is needed (NewsGator has an Enterprise tool although this APML support announcement doesn't seem to address it). Another player in the market Attensa also has AttentionStream Prioritization that observes and analyzes explicit and implicit behavior as the user reads and processes feeds and articles- but this is post delivery which is great but doesn't completely solve the bigger problem of content ingestion not just consumption.

So obviously tools like for an example an Enterprise RSS server can act as intermediaries that deliver content based on the users 'Attention Profile' that is maintained in one central place- but in order for that to be effective in a diverse Enterprise the information pipes must be huge from the content providers or else the users still need to maintain individual filters on each service. In the graphic above the user sets up and maintains the filters in the multiple services yet only receive content based on their Attention Profile that is maintained as part of a enterprise tool in this case a RSS Enterprise Server.

What if content information providers supported APML?

The Enterprise User could maintain and 'own' (yes i know that 'ownership' is a big issue in the Enterprise space!) their Attention profile- having it dynamically change as their attention needs change and quickly be applied to new information services their companies might subscribe to.

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