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February 10, 2005


David Jackson


Your work is terrific, and I've adopted some of your thoughts in analyzing stocks for The Internet Stock Blog.

A tip: look at what Hollywood Media could do with RSS in a transactional framework.


fwiw, the RSS as tivo for the web metaphor has been around at least as far back as the summer of 2003 -- joi ito references it in his blog in 2003 also.

great long tail momentum you've created though-- viva la memeflow!

Noah Brier

I kind of have a problem with the Tivo analogy. Here's an explanation that comes from an article I wrote in September about RSS for American Demographics called "This Way App":

Many people describe RSS as TiVo for the Web. Part of what makes TiVo so appealing is the ability to pick and choose from across the network spectrum and record those shows you're interested in. RSS, however, records an entire opt-in spectrum of feeds, rather than one show at a time. It's like being able to choose your cable package with On Demand channels only. That way, when you get home from work, rather than watching what's on at that time, you are provided with a list of every show that has appeared on your chosen channel lineup since the last time you watched. This way, if you only watch ESPN, HBO and NBC, you only need to subscribe to those 3 stations. And for those who watch 100 different channels, RSS can handle that too by spidering across all the sites you've chosen and posting update signs and signals for each of them.


I've had a lot of email and comments encouraging me to stick with longer essays here, which is much appreciated. I'll try to get in one or two a week.


Regarding TiVo and RSS, one thought I've had for a while is that the one big weakness I see in both is that you can only get new content. Probably most obvious in TV shows, where you hear about the buzz and tune in, but have already missed the first three episodes. Ideally, you want to watch from the very beginning, and someday you should be able to tell your DVR that so it will automatically retrieve the earlier episodes (via bitTorrent or what-have-you).

Similarly, when you find a new blog and subscribe to its feed, sometimes you also want to catch up on older entries. Doing it yourself by surfing is rather tedious. It'd be nice to subscribe to an RSS feed from the beginning, or from a certain date or entry. Maybe even tell it to send you entries slightly faster than they originally appeared (to eventually catch up), or at fixed intervals regardless of when they were posted.

Not sure how this all fits into the Long Tail paradigm, but I would think these would be especially helpful for consumers exploring down the tail, especially for television. And help make the concept of "air date" irrelevant.

Dee Rambeau

how about this random long post about the "tail" from old Steve Hackett Genesis lyrics?
check out my post.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

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