Posted on 11/02/2005 @ 13:39:28 in Email.
Chances are, your favorite news sites provide RSS feeds so you can track news without visiting them. To get set up, download a (usually free) RSS reader, go to your site, and add the site to your newsreader's list. From that moment forward, fresh news automatically shows up in your newsreader. You can build your own custom newspaper. When you get sick of a site, delete it. Poof. You'll never see it again.
Back in 2003, that Poof-factor got some folks excited about the idea of replacing Old Guard SMTP messaging with RSS email.
Idea #1: Spam can't exist when you must first subscribe to accept a feed. (Old Guard SMTP-types call this... ahem... white-listing).
Idea #2: Old Guard SMTP Messaging wastes too much precious storage space.
A single message may take up space on all four devices. Likewise for a single message to 100 recipients. While the bandwidth absorbed between servers may be no more than a single message with a long bcc list, the storage required is 100 times the number of places the message is stored. That's a lot of storage.
RSS email shifts the burden. Ideally, the actual message is originally stored only on the Sender's RSS Mail Server, which notifies the Receiver's RSS Mail Server, which notifies the Receiver who downloads the message from the Sender's RSS Mail Server.
Because the Receiver's RSS Mail Server stores only notifications of new messages, a single message may take up space on three devices, max; however, for that message to reach 100 users, 100 copies will traverse your lines. And in between messages, every device that maintains an address book must constantly check with each correspondent to see if it has new messages.
Proponents' response to suggestions that RSS email soaks up too much bandwidth? "Fat pipes are ubiquitous and cheap. Way cheaper than hard disks."
However, in the hinterlands outside major hubs, bandwidth pricing tends to be variably subjective, with peaks and valleys more akin to gasoline pricing than the computer industry. Network managers in these climes may prefer rolling the dice on the chance that storage costs will continue to shrivel.
To some, a larger obstacle is security and legal compliance. In this post-Sarbanes-Oxley/911 world, many government and business users who freely communicate outside their organizations' archiving pervue will land their bosses in front of a judge. As a practical matter, this means the Receiving Mail Server will be forced to hold mail, along with every end users' white list address book. Just like an Old Guard SMTP email server. So much for Idea #2.
And as users chaffe under the constraints of non-stop white-list maintenance (for each communicant-pair), you can expect them to find ways to sidestep their acceptance routines. Spammers won't be far behind, followed by... you guessed it... authentication, reputation, and content filtering. So much for Idea #1.
Users can already get plug-ins to add RSS feeds directly into their Outlook and other email clients, although in practice, it appears many prefer keeping RSS separated from email.
So what's the rationale for scrapping Old Guard SMTP? Oh. RSS is the shiny new bauble. Don't you love shiny new things?
RSS/Email, Meng Wong
Will RSS replace eMail? It will if I can help it. Sean Gallagher's Root Access
Email v RSS, Email Marketer v Customer Matrix, Alex Barnet Blog
Is RSS Email's Savior - Or Just Overhyped? Techdirt
[Ovu poruku je menjao aleksandaraleksandar dana 04.11.2005. u 18:04 GMT+1]