Thursday, July 21, 2005

Oh. So we're just nerds.

According to a Pew Internet study conducted via telephone, 87% of Internet users don't know what podcasting is, and 91% don't know what RSS is.

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew project, called the results of the study "a sobering reality check."

I'm not sure that this necessarily means podcasting and RSS is overblown and won't eventually go wide. I'd bet 91% of Internet users didn't know what an MP3 was before Napster made headlines. I'd bet that number is more like 9% now.

I'd be interested to see the results about six months from now, given Apple's integration of podcasting support into iTunes... until then I guess I will just focus on organizing my pocket protector collection.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Washington Post to Monetize RSS?

For awhile, people have been wondering whether there's a way
to make money off of RSS feeds. 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.

Jeremy Pepper is spot on with his comment:
This is great that the first large media site is going to push ads via RSS. And, this is terrible, because the first large media site is going to push ads via RSS.

Well - I suppose that's the first shoe dropping - now let's see if RSS becomes as ad-riddled a channel as e-mail or if it can stay relatively useful as companies begin to cash in.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Print version of dailies aggregated online

NewspaperDirect has launched an online tool called PressDisplay that allows the user to view online the print versions of 270 newspapers from 50 countries. The list of newspapers in their database is impressive, if not yet comprehensive.

What makes this interesting is that this isn't just text and photos in HTML, but the entire publications in their original formats and layouts, delivered through a PDF-like interface. The company even claims to post some newspapers online before they hit the newsstands.

NewspaperDirect is offering a free 7-day trial. The trial limits the number of newspaper pages you can view, but the product is really quite impressive. Pricing for a full subscription ranges from US$9.95 per month for access for up to 31 different newspaper issues, to US$29.95 for up to 120. Each additional issue beyond these monthly limits costs US$.75.

This could potentially be an excellent and cost-effective way for PR folk to instantly share with clients a bit more than the online text version of a print article - regardless of geography. Definitely worth a look.