Hugh MacLeod is having a tough time getting wifi to work on his Tablet PC to the point where he deems it necessary to write not one but two posts about it. To me the interesting thing is not so much the problem but the link trail around Robert Scoble’s site. I ended up here where Scoble talks about RSS, marketing and how he blew a fuse with a co-worker. You gotta give the man points for passion. Here’s (for me) the most interesting point:
Sorry, if you do a marketing site and you don’t have an RSS feed today you should be fired.
I’ll say it again. You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed.
Saying that RSS is only for geeks today is like saying in 1998 that the Web was only for geeks.
Scoble then goes on to say:
Oh, but it gets even worse. “Can I download the videos?”
“No, the whole point of the site is to get people to visit and stick around.” (DAH note: where have I heard THAT before? Clue here)
So, let me get this straight. You don’t have RSS feeds. That means I won’t be able to build a relationship with this site. You have a fake site so even if I tell my readers to visit it they’ll get there and feel dirty (and they can’t interact or do anything there either). You won’t let me download the videos to pass them around virally. Or remix them in fun ways.
Oh, and there’s no permalinks so even if I wanted to link you directly to a piece of content there I couldn’t.
To put this in perspective:
- Scoble’s talking about something developed inside Microsoft that didn’t have a mechanism for interacting with the reader
- The post was written 19th February, 2005. How many UK firms have sites with RSS and commenting capability? Very few.
To put even more perspective on this, I received a Skype message today saying the StartMEup project isn’t discoverable by RSS. It’s a WIP, barely has any content and is in ‘closed beta.’ Gimme a break – we’re only 3 days in. But my correspondent is right. People expect to find information in a discoverable manner. RSS is the way to go on this puppy.