Yahoo! expands RSS services to Mail (beta) and Alerts
By Charlene Li
Yahoo! announced that it will be extending its current RSS capabilities in two areas:
1) Yahoo! Alerts will now be RSS enabled. This means that when a new item is posted to a feed, a Yahoo! user can have the post be sent as an Alert to email, Yahoo! Messenger, or via SMS to a mobile phone. So I can now add an RSS feed, like a search on Yahoo! News for mentions of my name, as an Alert and have it delivered in the channel of my choice. This will be great for those Craig's List RSS feeds where it's a competitive advantage to find out about hot items like tickets or apartments quickly.
2) The new Yahoo! Mail beta will also be RSS enabled. Users can add feeds directly into the Mail interface, or if they have feeds already set up in My Yahoo!, they will automatically replicate within Mail. Each post acts like an individual email – it can be forwarded, sorted into folders, and deleted. I’ve included a screenshot from my Mail account.
In my conversation with Scott Gatz from Yahoo!, he emphasized that Yahoo!’s goal is to integrate RSS access anywhere it makes sense, and to integrate it into experiences they already know.
I’m thrilled! I’ve long wanted to have my RSS feeds integrated in with email, but the plug-ins from players like NewsGator and Attensa mess up my Outlook in a terrible way. This has more to do with the way Forrester has set up Outlook than with the vendors’ software and services – I know many happy, satisfied users of both of those products.
The integration into Mail is an obvious improvement over MyYahoo! – it’s where people already spend a lot of time gathering and sharing information, and more importantly, it’s a familiar interface. One of my biggest problems with RSS is just remembering to go and read it – starting up FeedDemon or browsing over to Bloglines just doesn’t work that well for me. Even Google Sidebar doesn’t get used that much anymore because I find I have to frequently minimize it to use common work applications like our CRM system or Webex.
Update: Lots of posts around but for the inside scoop direct from Yahoo!, listen to John Furrier's PodTech Network interview with Scott Gatz and Ethan Diamond about the announcement. A great use of podcasting technology.