Archive for August 21st, 2005

RSS-oriented search engines are appearing, including MSN search, with RSS output and one-click subscriptions to leading news aggregators


Interesting question, how will these change the RSS ecosystem? What do they enable you to do that Google does not? One thing that is of particular importance to me is the easy establishment of new value chains among open web superservices.

In this light, my favorite search engine now is MSN Search.  It follows most closely the minimalist but powerful conventions of open web superservices, and enables the following value chain

spider a pool of data>search a pool of data>output search results in machine-readable RSS form>aggregate with other complementary feeds>display

to be constructed (nee, programmed) by typing one set of search commands, and clicking three times, assuming you already have an aggregator account. 

Here is how MSN Search does this:

1. User initiates an action that generates a persistent URI as well as a meaningful display of data:

The main opening page of MSN search is

It has a search  bar that creates persistent URIs–here is one for a search for RSS Investors (not in quotation marks)

2.  User can generate a persistent URI that outputs results in RSS machine readable form:

With one click on an orange RSS button, the program outputs a persistent URI for the same search with an RSS output that can be subscribed to in any news aggregator

3.  The superservice makes available a one-click ‘next action’ that automatically links together web superservices into ongoing, semi-permanent syndication relationships with popular downstream superservices, thus creating a new value chain.

There is a one one-click subscription button-generated URI that takes this search and puts it into a “My MSN” aggregator

Even more amazingly, there is a Microsoft-generated subscription link to My Yahoo–a competitor’s news aggregator

And there is one to Bloglines!

This is the way services ought to work!  This is an important model for developers to study.

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