Paradox of Cache Land

Been thinking a lot lately about making our RSS feeds available for commercial use (as we currently and still do not).

Here’s the paradox: Why is it that we don’t want to make our feeds available so that people can create complete sites from our feeds when we openly allow big sites like Google and Bloglines to cache them all?

Now, the answer of course is that it’s good business sense to allow Google and Bloglines or sites of their scale to cache our sites because they deliver value back in form of actual traffic.

I’m not certain it makes good business sense to allow our RSS feeds to be used for commercial sites without a paid license…Yet the whole point of RSS is to help fascilitate syndication. Do you see the dillema?

We want to improve distribution and grow traffic, but don’t want our content to be abused by tens of thousands of small sites that will profit from advertising on our RSS feeds should they pull them to their website…while we only see a 1-3% CTR to the final full article view.

What are your thoughts on this issue?


M. Anthony writes:

I’m always of the belief that’s not about the money or traffic for that matter (or shouldn’t be). If you give value, then you will get it back somehow in someway regardless if you “charge” for it. I know my Inspirational Quote Feed is syndicated by quite a many site for “fresh content” and spider bait. And I get a click thru every once in a while. So what?

Does everything have to be about “I’ll only scratch your back when and if I see my back scratched with green bills”?

Maybe I’m naive, maybe that’s not a good “business model” In the end, who does it hurt if 1000’s of small sites that probably won’t be around in a year DO syndicate your feeds for spider bait?

Comment provided May 10, 2005 at 8:32 PM


Rosana Hart writes:

As one of your expert authors, I would rather not have my articles go out via RSS where all sorts of sites WOULD use the feed for spider bait.

Comment provided May 24, 2005 at 4:01 PM


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