RSS got another big boost today when portals-in-the-headlights AOL and Yahoo? decided they wanted to scrape some vig off of the email stream. Notice that this idea, first championed by Bill Gates several years ago in his famous "I will fix this problem in 2 years" speech, is in fact not coming from Redmond but two companies firmly in the grasp of carrier partnerships. But those who cast this as the enabling shot across the bow of Google and other broadband hitchhikers may not be right. My bet is that someone like Sun, with their Redmonk-promoted lead in identity services, could provide email certification for free in return for participation in the Sun server stack. Hmm, it is Google that Sun is partnering with, isn't it. Goodbye AOL mail, just when they were getting a clue. Hello Gmail plus, still free. Microsoft, your bid.
Of course, RSS breaks spam, and Attention breaks glut, and Gestures break pre-paid authorized corporate spam. When I walk into Eats for breakfast, they hand me 4 quarters for the parking and the usual meal. They put the quarters on the bill, and the decaf in a to-go cup from minute one. Gesture-driven personalization. I don't have a spam problem anymore. Most of my information comes to me on demand, and more and more sorted by gestures. Fixing something that's not broken puts a big bullseye on the publisher. Remember: RSS readers are self-selecting, Attention readers mine affinity group data for targetted streams, and Gesture-sensitive publishers have a consentual relationship with their audience, aka partners.
Those who see this as a battle between them (MSM) and us (us-ers) may be consigning themselves to observer status, while those who harness the power of naturally forming affinity groups can act now to deincent those clouds and carriers who are taking silo stumbles. If Gabe Rivera is tuning Memeorandum more and more by content as differentiated from the easier-cloned linkrank, then he is moving toward the assent of gestures and away from the tyranny of transactions. What you bought is more a predictor of what you won't buy than what you will, at least for some period of time. What your neighbor (in an affinity sense) bought, however, can have an immediate and opposite effect. Who do you trust?
My bet: those who shift the profit from the Spam Flag to the us-ers-in-charge.