A new trend is in customization, enabling a custom branded version of an RSS Reader with pre-populated feed, from the BlogBridge website:
”And, yes, you guessed it:we believe that BlogBridge can help you with that. Think about distributing a custom (branded) version of BlogBridge that comes pre-populated with your content - your feeds, your search results, you name it.”
It’s is easy enough to install a RSS reader and then delete the factory feeds and add the internal feeds, but to already have the internal feeds pre-loaded before you install the reader onto a PC is even better.
NOTE: From my experience you can only access internal feeds, with a desktop reader that is on the network, not web-based.
Even par with BlogBridge is Active Web Reader Customizer…this enables you to pre-load feeds before installation.
The ultimate controlled and branded choice is CustomReader…it totally fits into your web feel and controls access (it can be set so you can’t delete the pre-loaded feeds…don’t know if you can disable adding new feeds…you can even track user behaviour…see more at RSS Diary.)
Distributing RSS readers within the enterprise is the inevitable step if you want staff to read your internal blogs…by having an aggregator with a notifying function your co-workers are kind of reminded to read your feeds (better than relying on them visiting your site).
We have to remember that if blogs (or RSS enabled websites) are to replace email for certain content, we must make sure that they get read, especially if critical information is distributed.
The only way this will work is if RSS Readers become equally popular as the email client (everyone knows to check their email, and the notifier will let them know anyway- that is, the pop-up window when you get new mail)…RSS Readers need to eventually build this reputation that you have to check your RSS Reader if you want to know the latest on a work project or current awareness.
A method to quicken the adoption process is to go beyond general current awareness content and make every day critical tasks such as project updates communicated through an RSS reader (via a blog or RSS enabled website) in addition to email…you need to check your RSS Reader for the latest in order to proceed with your work tasks…current awareness is different, it’s up to the person if they want to be aware of activities and progress at their work, but if it is critical to their task at hand they will immediately familiarize with the RSS Reader client, as it is essential to their duties.
I’m not going to list the differences between email and RSS Readers, but that I personally think email is more suited to personal communication, the great thing about RSS is not only the communication and broadcasting aspect, but more in the managing of information.
Also there is the choice to choose what you want to read as it is a pull rather than push system…many people in the workplace send batch email’s which sometimes don’t concern a lot of people (Blog’s and RSS Readers are the perfect answer to this type of content).
Now that all staff can have an RSS Reader can you disable them adding external feeds…I know I wouldn’t like this…you can’t avoid this anyway as they could load external feeds using another desktop or web-based reader.
The reason being is that RSS is addictive and staff (once they learn) can add a multitude of feeds and spend time reading stuff they could read at home, but then this hinders them adding work relevant external feeds.
First the problem was spending time locating the right information, now the problem is trying to read through it all, and knowing when to stop
…we don’t want a syndrome where everyone will know the latest but they won’t get any work done.
At the same time there is no stopping people adding external email alerts, the only difference is that you are more inclined to add new feeds as it is an easier, no fuss procedure, and the client interface is more inducing for this type of behavior.
Then there is an RSS Reader within the email client like Newsgator Enterpise edition (install once at the server level)…now this has the advantage that people don’t have to learn how to use a new client as it is intergrated, the only thing is you will lose the whole idea of a customised branded reader, so just choose the option that suits.
[ADDED 26/04/06: Newsgator Private Label Solutions]
[ADDED 2/05/06: FeedReader (re-branding, default feeds)]
[ADDED 3/05/06: Inclue (branded, integrates into outlook)]
[ADDED 20/06/06: Moreover CI-Newsdesk 3.0]
[ADDED 19/04/07: RSSlvp