Steve Rubel doesn’t get it: RSS advertising sucks

Filed as General on February 21, 2006 10:42 pm

by Duncan

Steve Rubel gripes about feeds:

“So when are the newspapers going to step up to the plate and experiment with their golden geese? When will we see more ad-subsidized print edition summary feeds or, dare I say, full-text feeds for paid subscribers [from the MSM]? I sure hope it’s in my lifetime because if the newspapers don’t give the masses what they want soon, an army of bloggers and citizen journalism networks will surround them to happily fill the gaps”

How bout then RSS advertising actually pays out Steve? The reality is RSS advertising sucks (sorry to my friends at Pheedo who are trying very hard to make it work, and continue to get better at it). I’m yet to find anyone who is making decent money from RSS advertising, particularly compared to traditional on site advertising (both CPC and CPM). Firms like Weblogs Inc can offer full feeds with RSS advertising only because they’ve got enough revenue coming of the main blogs themselves. Somebody should ask J-Cal what his returns are on his RSS ads vs the sites ads. If he gets 10% of the revenue from his RSS feeds compared to that of the blogs (averaged over similar user numbers…apples and oranges after all) I’d be greatly surprised.

On another note Steve, I’m starting to worry about you, you are starting to sound more like Scoble every day…please don’t join the everything for free and damn the money crowd… some of us are trying to blog for a living.

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  1. By Bill Flitter posted on February 22, 2006 at 2:00 am
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    How could I resist not leaving a comment on this one! I appreciate the kind words about Pheedo. Is anyone going to get rich on RSS advertising today? I will be the first to say no. Give us some time. We have a number of exciting products we are testing now that will make RSS a significant revenue stream. However, no one got rich on email marketing or search marketing over night either. It takes some time to figure out what works and doesn’t. It takes pioneers in the space to figure it out and do it correctly.

  2. By David McInnis posted on February 22, 2006 at 2:22 am
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    OK, so I have to comment. I think that there is an opportunity for content matching within RSS. We chose to partner Pheedo because we believe that they are best able to match our content with existing RSS feeds. I don’t like the prospect of spammy rss feeds any better than the next guy. But as a user, I always appreciate appropriately matched content regardless of the medium. Heck, how do you think I found this post?

  3. By ben barren posted on February 22, 2006 at 9:51 am
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    i figured out how to spend blog, but im not sure how to spend rss advertising. check out the david lee roth henry rollins podcasts. im with u man, pity u sold the baby, hope u do a 2.0 post neo-valleywag for us .au wags. luvn the link xchange tech too. bb

  4. By James Robertson posted on February 22, 2006 at 12:23 pm
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    You said:

    “On another note Steve, I’m starting to worry about you, you are starting to sound more like Scoble every day…please don’t join the everything for free and damn the money crowd… some of us are trying to blog for a living.”

    I’ll be blunt: The world does not owe you a living. On my site, I get more than 4X the number of readers each week to the HTML pages than I do to the RSS feed – and that’s a conservative estimate, since all I’m doing is looking at unique IP addresses (proxy servers hide some of the unique viewers).

    I offer full text feeds – and yet I’m getting an abundance of HTML readers. You want lots of accesses to the site directly? Write compelling content that others want to link to, and then people will be drawn to it – mostly in browser. Or offer partial text feeds, and don’t attract readers.

    Your strategy of sucking people through via partial feeds is self defeating.

  5. By Todd Cochrane posted on February 22, 2006 at 8:20 pm
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    If a site does not have full RSS feeds I don’t read it and if I don’t read it they site does not get any link love. My site traffic is terrific and the onsite revenue is terrific if I changed to partial feeds it would likely destroy the following I have built. Content remains king but if you dont have full RSS feeds i’m not reading.

  6. By JLP at AllThingsFinancial posted on February 23, 2006 at 5:53 pm
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    I don’t publish full feeds and I most likely never will. Yeah, some people have a problem with that but they are most likely the ones who scrape my content in the first place. I don’t see what the big deal is having to click on a link to get a full story. You would think I was asking someone to walk a mile to read my content.