Yahoo! alerts to support RSS

Podtech has an exclusive interview about Yahoo! and pushing RSS to their 227 million email users. Yahoo! has built RSS into their alerts services at and furthermore they’ve built an RSS reader into their email service. Other bloggers have more about this including Techcrunch, Om Malik, John Musser, BusinessBlogWire.

Here’s an excerpt where Scott Gatz from Yahoo! talks about the alerts service:

our research shows that about 31% of Internet users are using RSS whether they know it or not. It seemed like a natural progression. If we really wanted to provide users with what they want in one convenient package, to figure out how we more effectively integrate that across the Yahoo network. Where are the places that users want to see us integrate RSS? That is what we are really excited to talk about today is two new big launches where we have integrated RSS. The first is in our Alerts product.

Our Alerts product At Alerts at allows people to go and sign up and subscribe to real time alerts for all sorts of things — if a stock price reaches a certain limit, if your favorite sports team has won the game, it runs the gambit for all the different types of alerts you can get. Isn’t this a perfect place to integrate RSS? Wouldn’t it be amazing if any RSS feed on the Internet could be made into an alert?

What if the moment an RSS feed were updated you can get an SMS alert to your mobile phone, you can an instant message alert in Yahoo messenger or maybe we can even send you an email…as those updates happen. Whether that’s a blog that you track… maybe the blog only posts once every three weeks or so.

I really like that development. Not because we get another three-letter acronym to keep track of. No, RSS enables users to use and reuse information in any way they want it. Also, discovery of RSS feeds are built into the Firefox browser, Live bookmarks enable browser users to read “live bookmarks” of updated RSS feeds.

It’s very interesting to hear that the new yahoo mail will have an RSS reader built into it. Currently they only included it in the limited beta programme. Scott Gatz has a screenshot of the mail client

I’ve just recently discovered the value of RSS feeds through the web service Netvibes. Now I use it all the time. I have RSS feeds from BBC, CNN, from two Google Gmail accounts, RSS feed with weather data in Copenhagen. I have a feed of my online bookmarks. Also (of course) a feed with Flickr photos of my son. Even Danish news sites make their content available as RSS feeds. Well, not all, but these do: DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation), Berlingske, Børsen, JyllandsPosten, Politiken, Comon.

Some interesting data from the podcast:

  • 31% of all people on the web use RSS whether they know it or not
  • 227 mill active users (october 2005)
  • Alert available via RSS, SMS text message, or Instant message
  • New RSS service from Yahoo! every month this year

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