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All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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Free Prize Inside

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Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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The Icarus Deception

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V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

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« The promiscuity paradox | Main | Benefit of the doubt »

Bobcasting (and Google Reader)

I've been a fan of RSS for a long time, and I've been just waiting for it to reach its potential. Most of the readers of this blog read it via RSS, (if you don't, click here--more confusing than it needs to be, isn't it?)

Here's what's I think has been holding back RSS: the name (initials!) and the lack of a standard way to read a feed and to add a feed. We need one button, not twenty or thirty. I think both problems have been solved by RSS inside of Google Reader. (Click the link for a lens on an any easy way to get started). As the acceptance of Google Reader approaches ubiquity, marketers and managers now have the chance to take this technology to a totally new place.

Dave Winer, the pioneer of RSS, had a brilliancy about seven years ago that led to podcasting. Podcasting is just an RSS feed of music, with an easy interface (iTunes). Podcasting took off because it had the good parts of RSS without the hassles. But that's music, not text.

I want to suggest something that takes no new technology but could have a big impact on the way you do business: Bobcasting.

I call it that because instead of reaching the masses, it's just about reaching Bob. Or Tiasha. Or any individual or small group.

The future of online communication is micro-pockets of people getting RSS feeds in their Google Reader or on their Google home page. Amazon updates? Bobcast em to me. Fogbugz summaries for the customer service manager? Bobcast her three times a day.

Yes, Twitter is just an example of Bobcasting, but with a different interface. You only twit the people who want to hear from you, and you do it without spam filters or other noise.

What happens to your team when you have an RSS feed that can put a message or update in front of them without noise? And because the Reader separates the inputs by source, I can queue up my messages from you and read them in sequence. Compare that to the noisy disaster we call an inbox.

Facebook feels seductive, until you realize that the messages from those hundreds of friends are all sort of BlendTecked together. Yes, the spam is missing, but so is control.

With Bobcasting, I can have a feed for my Fedex packages, a feed updating me on the status of my frequent flyer miles at American, a feed from the project manager on the construction of my treehouse... anything that is primarily a one way piece of communication, anything where status updates instead of dialog are the goal.

If we are really living in a one to one future, then Bob (and our interactions with him) represent the asset we need to obsess over. Using RSS and Google Reader (and yes, there will be other, better readers to come) to do Bobcasting feels like a smart asset to build.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bobcasting (and Google Reader):

» Everyone Has A Microphone from sweetping.com
.but only the people that youre connected with are listening. Seth Godins talking about www.twitter.com and bobcasting. One-to-one listening is where its at, but how do you  make sure that you create and maint... [Read More]

» Individual RSS Feeds for BigOven Recipe Archive from Northwest Passages by Steve Murch
Seth Godin makes yet another interesting observation on his blog about Bobcasting, where RSS meets the truly personal. Today, most RSS feeds are one-to-many; it's quite possible for RSS feeds to be much more 1-to-1. For instance, on BigOven, you [Read More]

» Individual RSS Feeds for BigOven Recipe Archive from Northwest Passages by Steve Murch
Seth Godin makes yet another interesting observation on his blog about Bobcasting, where RSS meets the truly personal. Today, most RSS feeds are one-to-many; it's quite possible for RSS feeds to be much more 1-to-1. For instance, on BigOven, you [Read More]

» Tjaša namesto RSS! Fantastična ideja! from Tjaša
Bobcasting (and Google Reader) Ive been a fan of RSS for a long time, and Ive been just waiting for it to reach its potential. Most of the readers of this blog read it via RSS, (if you dont, click heremore confusing than it... [Read More]

» Bobcasting: from Pajamas Media
the new big thing, according to Seth Godin.... [Read More]

» RSS and the future! from Soylent Cola
Reading through my inbox at work today... (yes, it's Saturday. Yes, I had to work.) ...I noticed I get a lot of emails that I wish I didn't have to reply to. Simple one-liners that alert me about the status... [Read More]

» micro-listening from sweetping.com
Seth Godins post on bobcasting really got to me. As Sales/Marketing folks, we have to listen to our customers. How do we listen to whats important to them with the web - create a mainline, an RSS feed of their interests. What if you mashe... [Read More]

» Entreprenews of the Week from Young Go Getter
Bobcasting (and Google Reader) An idea as to how RSS feeds can invisibly make our lives more dynamic and productive, without having to know what the hell RSS stands for. ChickSpeak.com: A Wordpress MU Based Social Network A beautiful example of how the... [Read More]

» Bobcasting? Bobcasting! from The Lone Sysadmin
Four people now have sent me the link to Seth Godins Bobcasting post.[0] I call it that because instead of reaching the masses, its just about reaching Bob. As a guy named Bob I couldnt agree more. :-) I... [Read More]

» Bobcasting from Removing All Doubt
Seth Godin's excellent blog has an interesting post on what he calls "Bobcasting"...truly personal RSS feeds tailored on the individual level to form a non-interruptive stream of information. The stream can the standard stuff like news, sports scores... [Read More]

» New Media word of the week from RawDigital
Bobcastingnoun 1. Sending data, specifically text, to individuals through syndication a.k.a Feeds. variants: Tomcasting, Dickcasting, and Harrycasting. Im learning new things all the time! But really, after reading this, it took me... [Read More]

« The promiscuity paradox | Main | Benefit of the doubt »