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Response by Bob Thompson,

We just received a response to the debate from Bob Thompson from Let me just say that I agree with his comments and plan on covering some of the issues he raises in the next marketing commentary.

Here is what Bob has to say about the subject:

I'm still learning about RSS and will be interested to see how this develops.

Clearly email marketing has some tough challenges, primarily spam and viruses. It seems premature to call "dead" something that people are still learning to use. But email marketing is sick, and I hope we find the cure for spam.

The issue of control is interesting. Yes, all things being equal consumers want more control. If nothing else, the Web has shifted power to the buyer.

But ease of use is also critical. The Internet existed long before the Web as we know it today. Anybody Gophered lately? FTPed? Archied? The web browser created a standard and easy way to publish and access information. The rest is history.

Speaking of email, it's also popular because it's easy and standardized. Go back 15 years and the situation was quite different. IBM and other vendors used proprietary email systems, then translators/bridges were developed to move mail from system A to system B. Finally email standards were developed and adopted, and software vendors made sure we all had an email client that worked. How long did that process take? Five years? Ten years?

As a publisher, I spend a lot of time on the Web and like to learn about new developments. And use these innovations to improve what we offer our subscribers, while running a profitable business. It seems to me that for RSS to succeed that the profit side of the equation must also be examined. Perhaps RSS is good for the consumer, but were is the motivation for publishers to push adoption forward?

I'm no expert on adoption curves, but it seems to me RSS has a long way to go. Ease of use will help, but other stakeholders (like publishers) need to be educated and help the process along.


Bob Thompson

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