Will 2007 Be the Year of RSS?

Is RSS on the cusp of moving from a neat tool for the geeks among us to a central part of Internet life? Richard MacManus of (“Read/Write Web“) answers in the affirmative in a post titled “2007 Will Be A Big Year For RSS. MacManus posits that enough major players have now made RSS a part of their tools — Microsoft’s IE 7 and Outlook 2007, Yahoo!’s webmail, MySpace, Safari, Firefox, and many others — that RSS will have a “break out” year.
This makes sense. Once users integrate a tool into their daily life — or the applications they use do that for them — that tool becomes akin to a utility in the physical world. It doesn’t matter whether or not the users know what they’re using. Most of us reading this blog, most of the time, take running water, electricity, and landline telephone service for granted. They are simply there, no questions asked. RSS seems to me to be moving from being a handy tool to being infrastructure, the glue that holds many disparate information services together.
As the tools our patrons use to interact with the online world adopt RSS, the more important it is that services libraries offer are at least capable of distributing information via RSS. There’s not a database or information service out there that couldn’t have a what’s new service (by RSS, by email, by passenger pigeon) — what’s new in terms of data in the database, and what’s new in terms of what the patron can do with the database as a tool. Once our user communities have tools that allow them to access RSS without a second thought, they will only notice it when it’s not there.

[Thanks to BlogBridge for pointing me to Read/Write Web, a blog I had missed until now.]