What’s the hottest brand on the Web these days? The orange RSS icon.
Take a look at the online sites of any major media company. You will see hundreds of these icons offering RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, which is a way to get information sent to you, such as articles, classified ads (say from Craigslist.com), hotel schedules or even audio files (or podcasts).
In fact, Microsoft recently announced that it will implement RSS support in its next version of Internet Explorer and in Longhorn, the upcoming Windows operating system. They want to make it easier for people to subscribe to RSS feeds and also, of course, make it really simple for people to engage in e-commerce.
In other words, RSS has become mainstream.
But is there money to be made? Well, yes, and it’s already started. Earlier this year, AskJeeves, a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp purchased Bloglines, which aggregates RSS feeds and blogs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Interestingly enough, there is now a venture capital fund, called RSS Investors, which is based in Cambridge, Mass. Currently, the fund has $20 million, although it plans on raising as much as $100 million. Jim Moore, one of the fund partners, says the fund will focus on Series A investments of $3 million to $5 million.