Feedster plans to incorporate contextual advertising
in its RSS
search subscriptions. Feedster will also sell its own sponsorships for some of the RSS
feeds. There will be one advertisement every sixth headline and users can pay $10 a year for a feed without advertisements. The ad-free feed will be licensed under Creative Commons
for non-commercial use.
The eWeek article mentions the dispute regarding advertising in RSS
feeds. I have no issue with advertising in RSS
feeds and realize that it is bound to happen just as e-mail carries advertising messages as a trade-off for the costs of production. Users are used to content appended to the bottom of an e-mail from Yahoo!, Hotmail, or even a corporate disclaimer, and we have learned to mostly ignore those messages. RSS
advertising is a bit different because the advertisement is an
and receives the same status as this posting. The best way to get around the problem of advertisements intermixed with other items is to classify the advertising item as a member of the advertising category.
The above code would allow feed aggregators to apply advertisement style markup to differentiate the advertising item from the standard post’s item. Feedster can demonstrate this style modification in their aggregator: MyFeedster.
Search engines create a valuable service on top of other people’s content and make money from the writing of others. I am thankful for the traffic driven to my site from Google and other engines and realize these search services exist because of the ability to advertise. My immediate reaction to Feedster’s RSS
advertising was “they are mucking up my content!” I then took a deep breath, realized that 250,000 feed subscriptions generating 5 million pings a month is not easy to maintain, and I currently have an observational mentality. I claimed my feed weeks ago but I am still unable to edit my claimed feed. Hopefully the demands of advertisers will help create a more reliable service.
I would like to see Feedster provide publishers with the ability to purchase their own ad-free Feedster feeds on behalf of their users. Restricted to a RSS
feed, here are your results. If I am willing to pay for the ability of my users to receive results based on my RSS
feed I will advertise the ability on my site and we both benefit.
If you have a Movable Type weblog and would like to provide your users with a RSS
feed of your search results, please see my search template information