Wednesday, December 07, 2005

why RSS has a long way to go

Back at the 2005 annual summit in September, there was a great session on 6 consumer trends retailers need to watch for, RSS feeds were one of the things that was seen as a small fry soon to supersize, especially with the echo boomer set.

It set me thinking... if there's still so much of the online retail going on in the work place (hence the whole premise behind cybermonday), there's a significant challenge for RSS' role in online retail: Corporate Information Security.

Corporate desktops are heading in exactly the opposite direction from the type of freedom that RSS gives. Restricting user access to common web-based services like email and chat are quickly becomming common place in corporate America. (I can't even get access to a web-based email account at my employer gmail, yahoo, msn, netscape, all blocked for "security reasons." Chat is RIGHT OUT because not only can you not install the client, but the traffic is blocked as well) I leaned over to a collegue in the session from and asked her "could you install an RSS reader on your computer at work?" She laughed and said "no way."

Email meanwhile can be controlled, monitored effectively and is something that information security types feel they have a descent handle on.

Now, I'm all for blocking porn, spam, etc. while we're using the "company-provided" information technology resources (computer, bandwidth, etc.) But, is it too far off where one can see a day where in the interest of "information security" and the "proper use" of "information technology resources" where shopping could be restricted? It wouldn't be good for business now would it?

I posed the question to one of the speakers, Carrie Johnson from Forrester after the session. She had a hard time grasping the reality of the "locked desktop" in corporate communities, but understood that it could be a barrier to adoption of RSS. I guess the bigger question is this: What's going to happen when the EchoBoomers hit the workforce... and can't IM their friends/blog during their day and check their RSS feeds? Will major companies react or stay the course? We'll see.

No comments: