One Unifying RSS Feed: An untapped Holy Grail
by phil on Friday Oct 10, 2008 4:19 AM
ideas for business
I really agree that all the little breadcrumbs of forum posts, blog comments, tweets, Google Reader stars, etc. are truly an untapped resource on the Internet. For every post I've written on Philosophistry, I've probably created 10-20 random little bits of content on other sites, ranging from delicious bookmarks, to flamewars on political sites. I now do this without thinking. You do this without thinking.
There is still an opportunity out there for someone to make a business out of this. One recurring theme I see in Internet start-ups, is unifying your entire Internet presence. Take every Twitter, Myspace comment, blog post, facebook entry, forum post, YouTube, etc., and combine it into one gigantic RSS feed. That's the Holy Grail. I don't know if the Internet will produce a start-up that does that effectively. But then again, the Internet has produced some amazing holy grails in the past.
What prompted this was my surprise when a glimmer of this "vast, sprawling, unifying RSS feed" was mirrored accidentally back to me. I posted a comment on Download Squad and somehow they dredged up four other comments from three other sites over the last three years. Here's a link to the comments. They include comments that range from technology rants to Paris Hilton. My first response when I saw this was, "There's no way I've posted on this site before." Which quickly turned into, "Holy crap, I guess all the scribbles I've made on the Internet over the years, eventually add up."
I have no idea how a service could ever truly fulfill the "Giant RSS feed" idea. Maybe it will come via an unexpected route, like Google Chrome integrating some of the ideas from Flock. Or a law requiring all Anonymous comments to be tied to a real person (scary).