ETech - Feed to the Future

Notes from Feed to the Future, by Feedburner CTO Eric Lunt.

Going to talk about trends they're seeing, how feeds are consumed and distributed.

Metrics Snapshots

Subscriptions outpace feed recognition
  • Jan05: 221,375
  • Feb 06: 9,547,171

1 person subscribes to 4 feeds = 4 subscribers

Think about:

  • email, not smtp
  • web page, not html
  • feeds, not formats
  • report after report shows that people are unfamiliar with the terms, but subscriptions continue to grow dramatically

Subscription is embedded into more worlds
2003: blogs
2005: podcasts, blogs, commerical publishers, web services, watchlists, peer-produced content

Do consumers think about feeds in Slide, Democracy TV, OS X screen saver, My Yahoo?

Full or Partial Feeds

Feed subscriptions to full content feeds outpace subscriptions to partial feeds for the same source by up to 10x

BUT

Feed subscriptions to sites with only partial feeds grow just as quickly as subscriptions to sites with only full feeds

AND

Experiments in decreasing the amount of content in the feed do not statistically improve clickthrough rates to the site

SO

Content providers can choose to distribute more or less content, but the feed may be all that a consumer ever sees

Chunk It, Free It, Syndicate It, Monetize It

  • Focus on the item, not the feed
  • Growth of filters, tagging, and search drive increased item-level distribution
  • Growth of uncommon uses, disparity between these uses at the item level

Complexity Breeds Consolidation, Simplicity Doesn't

2004: couple hundred clients
  • "my yahoo will eliminate these other things"
  • desktop readers will go away, it will all be web aggregators
  • soon there will only be two or three of these

2005: thousand clients

  • "google will jump in here and that will be it"
  • aggregators will go away, it will be filters
  • soon there will only be two or three of these

2006: several thousand clients

  • "when IE7 comes out, all these other things will go away"
  • it will all be personalized ajax home pages with filters and aggregation
  • soon there will only be two or three of these

2007: ???, but new clients are popping up everyday

Summary

Subscription without recognition. People subscribe without knowing what they're using.

The Feed is your Face. Understand that some people will never see your website.

Have Content, Will Travel. Think item-level distribution!

Q&A

Fred Wilson: If you have a circ of 10k, how many ppl are you reaching every day? What percentages? A: All over the board... 100% down to 40%

Q: What kind of percentage do you see on broken feeds?
A: We reject non well-formed XML off the bat so not high.

Q: As an industry, what can we do to track down spam blogs, splogs, stuff like that?
A: Highlight uncommon referrers for a feed, etc etc

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Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

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