2 Management Challenges with Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RSS Management Challenges

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) US, in the first quarter of 2014 Internet advertising revenues reached USD $11.6 billion. The President of IAB indicated that “Digital screens are a critical part…” of why these numbers are so high. Typically, these advertisements are done through images and/or text ads displayed with online articles and websites.

Really Simply Syndication (RSS) and other types of syndicated Internet sharing protocols strip away the images and/or text ads and only display content such as title, first sentence, summary or a complete article. This content is read typically through third party feed readers. In addition to content ownership issues, the other two management challenges include tracking subscribers and higher traffic demands.

Tracking of Subscribers 

In order to address the tracking of subscribers, organizations should request that the RSS readers provide this information to them. In order to get this information, organizations should incentivize the owners of the RSS feed readers and also the content subscribers to provide tracking information. One of the other ways to track and direct subscribers to their website would be to create some sort of paywalls that either ask subscribers to pay for content and/or ask them to create free login accounts to access more content.

Higher Traffic Demands 

One of the other issues that RSS feeds create is higher traffic demands on the servers that house the content. These feed readers access to content on websites more frequently than if a person was reading the information. In order to address this, a possible solution is to integrate desktop applications into a P2P network that would distribute the load among hundreds of clients.

RSS Management Challenges
RSS Management Challenges

As we can see from the above management challenges, beyond ownership issues there are issues of maintenance (e.g., optimize server capacities for repeated requests) and standardization (e.g., creating standard ways of tracking subscribes from multiple feed readers).


  1. “Pros and Cons for RSS.” Pros and Cons for RSS. FeedforAll.com, n.d. Web. 05 July 2014. http://www.feedforall.com/pros-and-cons-of-rss-feeds.htm
  2. Singel, Ryan. “Will RSS Readers Clog the Web?” WIRED. WIRED, 30 Apr. 2004. Web. 05 July 2014. http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2004/04/63264?currentPage=2

Success! You're on the list.

Author: Khan

Speaker | Advisor | Blogger

%d bloggers like this: