RSS: Geeks Only Please
These figures should be a bit sobering for VCs and the rest of Silicon Valley because not only do 100% of VCs seem to know what RSS is but it seems like 66% of them have already invested in an RSS/Blog related start-up. Some guys are even apparently trying to raise an RSS themed VC fund.
The VC's might be excited about RSS, but are they excited for the right reasons? The excitement of RSS should be over the possibilities that RSS has to offer as a technology. News is only one aspect of it. The second is podcasting. A third might be a video delivery system. If you look at the three above you can easily see that RSS is just a push technology, pushing text, audio and video. It can also probably push other things like software. Its a feed, and a feed can contain the above plus advertising! A way of bringing television/radio to your laptop/PC.
Here is an example of delivering video via RSS.
As far as this renaming RSS brouhaha, Microsoft should not rename RSS to "web feeds". People don't need to know about RSS, they need to know about "News Aggregators". What Internet Explorer version 7 will have is a built in News Aggregator. Why can't they just say that? I think "News Aggregator" is a pretty self explanatory term isn't it? Not as simple as web feeds, but still.