Friday, July 15, 2005

Really simple selling Launches RSS Advertising

ARLINGTON, Va., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- today announced that it will introduce advertising in its RSS (Real Simple syndication) feeds, making it the first major news site to offer ad units in its syndication streams.

To launch on July 15 in its Top News, Politics and Opinion feeds, the ads will be part of a unique campaign integrating RSS ads, online video, behavioral targeting and standard ad delivery.

This is great news. The Washington Post has found a way to make its online edition profitable. That means they will have the money to fund a first class news organization.

Jeremy Pepper does not think much of this, but I think it is great.

Ian Lipner shares Pepper’s skepticism.

1 comment:

IL said...

I too think it's great that the Washington Post is embracing RSS. I'm not worried about organizations like the Post, which has a proven history of making good choices when it comes to the use of the Internet.

I'm worried about those who want to get in on the RSS trend but don't really "get it." I fear that instead of putting small advertising tags into otherwise useful feed items, some will allow advertisers to post their own entire feed items, which will take up room in our RSS readers the same way advertisements do now in our email boxes.

An example of how organizations tend to stretch the limits of the opt-in - I give my company email address to a variety of trade publications. While I can opt-out of allowing them to sell my email address to outside sources, I cannot opt-out of receiving emails they send on BEHALF of advertisers, at least not without opting out of the publications' primary "subscriber update" emails.

(The Post, I believe, avoids this practice and instead puts small ads within the emails they send.)

In return for the value these publications provide me in giving me copies of their magazines and in some cases, access to their online content, I must be willing to make this concession, and I do.

With RSS, right now, I don't have to make this concession. I can get the value without having to sift through ad pitches.

Again, I won't mind an ad link at the bottom of an otherwise useful feed item (much as the Post and others currently do within their update emails).

I just don't want items on the feeds that consist entirely of advertising.

In the end, I think that because RSS is by definition an opt-in channel, the same organizations that stretch the opt-in rules now will feel free to put whatever they want on their feeds.

When that happens, RSS will lose its edge as a "less noisy" channel.