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I don't claim to be a futurologist or an RSS pioneer but I have been keeping a pretty close eye on RSS and how it has been evolving. From what I have seen so far I think I can make some pretty good predictions about where RSS feeds are heading.
The first prediction is pretty obvious but I think it needs to said. RSS feeds are here to stay and they are only going to become more popular. This year we have seen the likes of Yahoo pretty much integrate RSS into its search and Microsoft will integrate RSS reading into it new browser and make RSS a part of the next version of Windows. It won't be long before RSS Google search appears.
RSS feeds will see richer content becoming more common. We already have inclusions in RSS 2.0 that are used for pictures and more frequently podcasts. I think we will see an increase in video in RSS feeds although due to the bandwidth needed I think many inclusions will be in the form of torrents. That's right you heard it here first, RSS readers with integrated support for torrents.
There will be more and more service based RSS feeds such as RSS weather and the delivery of lottery results, sports results and other results reporting RSS services. This is because RSS feeds are downloaded to your RSS reader and sit there ready for you to read them, you never have to miss the sports results again.
News in RSS feeds will continue to be big especially in niche areas where there isn't as much coverage as there is for the mainstream news such as Yahoo news and BBC news. There will be more smarter services that will be able to mix you RSS feeds taste so you get exactly the sort of news you like to read about.
My final prediction will be that of how we consume RSS feeds. At the moment there are many RSS readers you can choose from, this will change very soon. I predict there will be only a couple of major RSS readers that will emerge, pretty much like how we now only have two main web browsers. I however wouldn't like to say whether Microsoft and Mozilla will be the two to emerge as dominant, the field is still too new.
Not is all lost for the other players in the RSS reader market. I see agrowth in the number of custom readers in the form of widgets. Widgets are small lightweight apps that run specific task such as displaying the weathers but in a pretty GUI environment. We will see more widgets that take RSS feeds and translate them into graphical representations, a good example of his would be a weather widget. The weather widget would get data from an RSS feed containing weather data and represent this in a graphical format on your screen.
The future truly is bright for RSS and will continue to compliment its older and more mature HTML cousin. Now I wonder if anyone has thought about creating a racing tips RSS feed.
You can find out more about RSS at Newsniche and how it can help you.