RSS replaces email for some in Yahoo! groups

One of the most common looks of bewilderment I see when I’m out doing my dog-n-pony show comes when I tell people that an RSS application to watch is its potential to replace email. A friend wrote last night — after joining an Atkins group on Yahoo!.

The link I sent you was an Atkins group I joined. They are offering latest messages on RSS. Why would an e‑mail group do that? Because SO MANY people choose “no email” and then go to the web site to read the messages when THEY want to. (I do that for literally dozens of groups.)

So, with RSS, it’s simpler than ever — you get the feed telling you what the new messages are, and you go read them if you want to.

This is user-control taken to new heights. It’s VERY cool.

Very cool indeed. The reason RSS is a better form of Internet communication is that it’s spam-free. I read a report recently that nearly 2/3 of all email is now unsolicited spam. That percentage is much higher with me, which may explain why I’m such an RSS fan. With RSS, a user must enter the URL of a known/trusted source in order to receive what that source is sending. It’s a great way, for example, to send newsletters or — as my friend has discovered — for groups to communicate messages. This is just the beginning, and here’s why.

Those who are regular readers here will know that I believe technology is the servant of a cultural shift in the west. Technology isn’t driving all these changes; people are. We’re leaving the age of Modernism, with its hierarchical structure, and entering the age of Postmodernism, where people are empowered like never before. Email is structurally Modernist. It it a hierarchical “push” technology, which is why it’s such a wonderful tool for spammers. RSS is just the opposite. It empowers individuals to participate at a level of their own choosing. Marketing in this world demands a level of respect that does not exist in the Modernist model, and I think it’s beautiful to behold. It’s also kind of fun to watch the light go “on,” as it did last night with my friend.

The energy behind such illumination is both life and world-changing.

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