Jeremy Zawodny sees a tipping point for feeds coming soon:
Real-time pings mean that we don’t have to wait for a full polling or crawling cycle before getting the latest content… Once this feed stuff hits the tipping point (I think we’re close), things will get really, really interesting. Suddenly these feed sources will be the thing people care about. The model of “search and find” or “browse and read” will turn into “search, find, and subscribe” for a growing segment of Internet users and it will really change how they deal with information on the web. What’s that gonna be like? Will the “web search” folks be ready? What about the browser folks?
The ability for a person or program to subscribe (and then get told when things happen, and take action as needed) is the foundation of The Now Economy. RSS and Atom can provide semi-structured data on which to take action — for example, for use in catablog-style commerce interactions.
Through John Battelle we discovered Rick Skrenta’s post on the subject of information feeds. Says Skrenta, “The proliferation of incremental content sources, all pumping out new material on a regular basis, is what the mainstream Internet user will consume.”
This in turn reminds us of Phil Windley’s recent observation that subscription-based information routing (such as that of mod-pubsub and KnowNow) allows applications to receive such streams of semi-structured information and then do something with them (such as filtering, aggregating, displaying, further routing, or taking action based on rules).
Such programming models will be ripe for exploration in the coming years as the applications of The Now Economy are discovered, developed, and deployed.