I got a sense of deja vu when I saw that the first item in Read/Write Web’s Predictions for 2007 was “RSS will go mainstream in a big way. A quick look back to their predictions for 2006 told me why: they predicted roughly the same thing — albeit more catiously — that RSS would “inch towards the mainstream”.
That still didn’t explain that nagging feeling that I’d heard exuberant RSS predictions before. All it took was a little Googling to find that this is at least the fourth year in which pundits predicted “RSS is gonna explode in the coming year!” Case in point…
- Gwen Harris: “RSS will go mainstream in 2004.”
- Steve Gillmor: Look Out, Outlook — RSS Ahead in 2004
- Jeremy Zawodny: In 2004, RSS is going to go mainstream–and it’s going to happen in a big way.
- Law Practice Today: What’s BIG in 2005? RSS, Desktop Search, and Collaboration Tools
- Blogs and RSS feeds will become the leading vehicles for providing clients with the information they want.
- Robert Scoble: RSS will go mainstream. Why? Cause it’ll be part of the browsing experience.
- Randy Charles Morin: And here’s the cake. RSS-based appliances will make there [sic] debut. Recipes on fridges, microwaves, ovens and through the roof from there.
- Press-feed.com: Now that major news sites such as USAToday.com and NYTimes.com are seeing double-digit monthly leaps in RSS-usership, RSS readership will be fully mainstream by 2006.
- Add Me.com: In 2005, marketers were told in no uncertain terms, if they are not using syndication and RSS, they will not survive. Well, they have one more chance to get it right. In 2006, marketers must use RSS as an alternative communication channel. It will no longer be cutting edge, it will be a must to survive.
- Jason Calacanis: Half of the indie RSS readers will shut down, go out of business, or just stagnate as the major portals take over this space. / No RSS readers will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built one.
- USA Today: RSS will become the biggest thing since …
The Web browser? Beanie Babies? Salt? Hard to say yet. But there is no shortage of effusiveness about Real Simple Syndication, or RSS — software code used to deliver news stories, blogs and other items via the Internet to your computer screen on readers such as My Yahoo or NewsGator. The prediction is that RSS will become the primary way everyone accesses stuff on the Web.
“We believe 2006 is the year of RSS,” says Mark Carlson, CEO of RSS company SimpleFeed. Adds author and consultant Steve Waite, “RSS is likely to take off in 2006 and could well displace e-mail as the killer app on the Net.”
Perhaps I should start a betting pool on when the pundits will stop predicting that RSS will go mainstream next year. I’ll put money down on 2009. Any takers?