RSS with advertising in the feeds - the backlash begins?

Those who have paid attention (yeah, all three of you) to what I think
about RSS feeds with advertising in them, know that I've been saying that people will dump the feeds once it starts to bug them since forever, and proclaim so loud and clear in that e-book Unleash the power of RSS. RSS feeds are ads most of the time. It's usually headline + link, or headline + lead-in + link - in effect "advertising" whats new on site X. Some sites spend everything they have in their feeds, their entire post and images - these are the ones most likely to do RSS-ads.
I noticed the other day that Moonhouse beta was complaining that some feedster keyword feeds that he subscribes to were suddenly updated with only ads. Previously, the feeds would have a regular update, and on occasion an ad would appear sandwiched between the regular news - but all of a sudden he had four updates that were nothing but ads. Lets hope that was a bug. Then I stumbled over Dave Winer complaining about BoingBoings feed, as he had received the same advert seventeen times and had enough. He unsubscribed, as one would. (read more)

But as with everything new, porn arrives on the bleeding edge first and advertisers soon follow.
What got the Pentdego blogs google account closed in October 2004, put the Longhorn blog in the news spotlight april 2005 - google adsense ads in their RSS feeds. Even now you'll see sites announcing that they have begun running ads in feeds like, Rocketinfo who uses as their ad supplier. But many more sites simply put ads in their feeds without issuing press releases about it - it's so easy to do with Feedburner who offer Google adsense ads within feeds.
From Keeping It Really Simple in the Hartfort Courant last week.

RSS has not gone unnoticed by another community: advertisers. A recent Forrester Research survey found 57 percent of the marketers they polled had an interest in pursuing RSS as an advertising channel. But it's uncertain whether Net surfers will accept RSS advertising. Swartz never intended the technology for marketing and doubts others will tolerate it.

"I think the users will revolt," he says. "The whole process of reading is interrupted. If RSS writers insist on putting it in, RSS readers will start taking it out. It's that simple."

I know that ads in feeds have made me unsubscribe - but everyone won't react like I do. The question is, how long will this 'virgin' territory be relativly ad-free? Five more minutes? What do you think?

Previous RSS rants of mine:
How long will RSS be ad-free? February 08, 2004
Google adsense beta testing ads in RSS feeds April 29, 2005
RSS feeds with ads in them are here to stay. July 06, 2005

Oh and as you know you can get RSS feeds of nearly everything on this site, comments, news films, ratings, individual users.... etc.

Update Sept 27: Looks like someone has built a better mousetrap!
Newsfire blocks ads in RSS feeds. I spotted this over at Nial Kennedy's blog in a September 12 posting.

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caffeinegoddess's picture

Probably not for long enough. I think Swartz is right. I can't see it lasting for all that long. Although then again, there was a time when everyone thought pop up ads were the greatest thing since sliced bread and users revolted but they are still around. Maybe it will spawn RSS ad blockers or something.

Dabitch's picture

aye, if it hasn't already. It's like an arms race - pop-ups appear, pop-up blockers soon kill them. Then smarter pop-ups appear, and even smarter blockers evolve. Soon Firefox is with automagick pop-up blocking, and immediately after that, new tricks that can bypass firefox's blocker evolves... this is then remedied and so on and so fourth.
Yeah, I think we'll soon see this with RSS in feeds. Who wants to bet that our feeds here will be killed by some badly coded "block everything with "ad" in it" crap? ;) [now available for only 299.99 from Symantec! hehe.]

philmang's picture

one twist on the rss and ads concept is the new BBC ads that use rss to drive content in banner ads. seems to be a much more sustainable form of using the power of rss as part of a marketing medium, and truely leverages the content that sites produce. basically just a well designed and targeted skin on an rss feed, used to present a brand and link to it or another.
but irrelevant, sponsored links in feeds? uggh...

Dabitch's picture

BBC RSS ads concept? Do you have a link? I seem to have missed that.

As for the comment about irrelevant crap, ain't that the truth? "advertising becomes information when in context" - the problem with SPAM, almost the definition of SPAM- is that it is irrelevant crap. The same goes for blinking banners (smack the MONKEY!) and now it looks as if the same mistake will be made in RSS. For fucks sake people the most important part of proper advertising is targeting. Wasn't targeting what the web was supposed to deliver better than any other medium? As advertisers got hooked on numbers and pretty graphs describing clicks which can easily be faked with a bot, they missed the opportunity to target properly.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Here, I just posted about it last night.

Dabitch's picture

Ahaa! Cheers for that vedrashko.

Dabitch's picture

Someone has built a better mousetrap!
Newsfire blocks ads in RSS feeds. I spotted this over at Nial Kennedy's blog September 12 posting.