Google’s Baffling Resistance to RSS

What timing!

Earlier today I wrote about how valuable RSS can be to people who access the Net via slow dialup connections. As an example, I showed how, on dialup, it is vastly more convenient to access Google News headlines and summaries via RSS feed rather than by going straight to that Web site. However, since Google – amazingly – still doesn’t offer any RSS feeds, I subscribe to some Google News feeds generously provided by an anonymous programmer.

Then I find out, from a CONTENTIOUS reader, that Google recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to UK programmer Julian Bond who created similar Google News RSS feeds. I kid you not – check out this Internet News article.

OK, here are a few basics I wish news publishers and aggregators really would understand about RSS feeds….
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Dialup Users REALLY Should Use RSS Feeds

I’m writing to you today from my cozy one-room cabin in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. Yesterday, I finally had a phone line installed so I can work from up here, which means I get to enjoy my cabin a lot more than in previous years. (Oh, admit it, you’d do it too if you could…)

However, this does mean that I’m forced back to the painfully slow world of dialup Internet access, at least part of the time. Yes, I’ve definitely been spoiled badly by having wireless broadband at my home office. But now I get to see how most of the world gets around the Net – a very useful reality check.

Just to put dialup in context, even in the Net-hungry US the vast majority of Internet users primarily use dialup connections. According to this March 10, 2004 Wired News article, nationwide only 36 percent of Net users have broadband. I don’t have the global statistics handy, but I’m certain that throughout the world the vast majority of Net users are on dialup.

By rejoining the dialup masses (at least part-time), I’ve realized yet another significant benefit of RSS feeds:

RSS feeds are ideal for dialup users because they can deliver a lot of information using very little bandwidth.

Case in point…
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FastCompany: Business Blogs Taking Off

More news from the corporate blogging frontier:

The latest issue of FastCompany magazine includes a great article by Jena McGregor, It’s a Blog World After All. One thing I love about this article is that she offers a diverse collection of examples – both in terms of company types, and in terms of how they’re using weblogs internally and externally.

I’ve added this article to my list of corporate blogging resources. Here are a few of my favorite highlights…
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