Dana Gardner’s article “RSS feeds begin to bleed into enterprise applications” talks about mashups of RSS feeds or “feed bleeds,” how he calls them. Although his article is quite technological, it still has interesting insights and goes in the same direction as my recent post about the hidden potential of RSS feeds.
What’s newly powerful is that nearly any kind of content can be driven through these feeds — from documents, spreadsheets, and data to video, blogs, podcasts and online HTML instruction manuals.
In another point, he argues that feed mashups can be easily remixed or fine-tuned, or they can be combined to powerful mashups with all kinds of different sources such as location, language, etc. Basically, as in the old way, you will not have a database that is accessed through a search engine. Now, instead, you will have various sources of information from inside and outside an organization, which you can combine as needed. The potential mashups are unlimited.
First example: I want to have new information on my field of interest also in other languages. I would take the feed from certain news (e.g. intranet, blog) and deliver it to a translation service. With automatic feed, certain selected websites are monitored. Then, if a key word corresponds, the respective source would be delivered in my feed reader.
**Second example: ** I assume comments of blogs always have valuable information. So I combine different comment feeds from my colleagues’ blogs I find interesting. With that RSS feed I include a search of a database to add projects and documents of the commenters to my feed.
Is this going to happen? Gardner finishes, “As Web 2.0 empowers younger workers to manage content online in new ways, they will want to use similar approaches on the job. Should this be done via an end-run around IT?”