Skip to Content

RSS Inc.

Investing in Really Simple Syndication
October 1, 2005

Once a nerd preserve, the Internet communication format known as Really Simple Syndication has acquired a key tech-buzz validation: a dedicated venture capital fund, RSS Investors. John Palfrey, executive director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is one of the company’s principals.

Blogs and news sites are where most Web users may have noticed those little RSS tags. Is that enough to start building businesses on?
Blogs and news feeds vaulted RSS into the limelight, but they won’t be what sustains it. We’re already seeing a second generation of applications – Web services like del.icio.us, which shares bookmarks, and Flickr, the photo-posting site.

Will there be more mainstream applications?
People can already use RSS to track packages with UPS or follow eBay auctions. More generally, RSS is ideal for managing any kind of info that needs to be rapidly updated. Medical records are an obvious application, and corporate communications.

The rap on technologies like RSS is that we’ll end up with tunnel vision: personalization will let everyone tune out things they don’t want to see or hear.
My “home page” – though that probably won’t be the right metaphor – won’t necessarily exclude anything. What it will do is aggregate – say, a recommendations engine based on what my friends are reading or listening to. Merge RSS with social software and you start to have something very powerful.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.