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No RSS Feed? It's A Genetic Marker For "Lame Site"

Robert Scoble
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-14

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OK, a few people have already written in and said that that Xbox site is lame not because it doesn't have an RSS feed but because it doesn't have any content.

Bing, bing, bing! You win $10 million. You're right!

"So, Scoble, if we're right, why are you being such a shmuck about RSS?"

Because not having an RSS feed is a genetic marker for a lame site.

Hear me out.

Look at the Xbox site again. It has no content, right? Well, add an orange XML icon to the site. What changes? A few things:

1) Now the site promises FUTURE content. Bing! Bing! Bing! New stuff gonna come. This site won't stay static. Static sites are lame. Don't believe me? Well, do some Google or MSN or Yahoo searches. Which sites invariably are at the top of the list? Sites that change often. Why is that? Why do sites like Engadget and Gizmodo have more traffic than most corporate home pages? Content changes often is the #1 thing.

2) If you don't have an RSS feed, your site is lame because you've told the connectors (er, superusers, er influentials) that they don't matter. When I see a site that doesn't have an RSS feed I see a site that says "Mr. Scoble you aren't welcome here and we don't ever want you to come back again."

3) Sites, like the Xbox one, that try to get customers to sign up and give an email address to get new content are telling customers "hey, we wanna spam you and we want our spam to be mixed in with all those Viagra spams you get. In fact, if you really are an advanced user we want our content to be shoved into your "junk" folder. Yes, our content is junk." Do you really want to be saying that? An RSS subscription, on the other hand, goes where +I+ want it to go. Hint: that's not into the junk folder.

So, marketers, if you are being compensated for building lame sites, keep on building sites without RSS feeds. My readers might see them as lame for other reasons, but not having an RSS feed is a genetic marker for "lame site."

Oh, and don't think that very well funded and very advanced sites can't be lame. Steve Wynn's is an example. He built a multi-billion-dollar casino in Las Vegas that opened recently. This morning I wanted to find a place to have breakfast. I was lost on his site. It took 60 seconds just to start it up (it's all in Flash). And, once in, I couldn't find a restaurant that would serve breakfast. Even if I could, I wouldn't have been able to link you into the restaurant directly. Lame, lame, lame. Again, what's the genetic marker? No RSS feed.

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About the Author:
Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net's Vice President of Media Development.

Go to Scobleizer ...

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