RSS for the Enterprise, and RSS privacy

This is a super-smart move: the unfortunately-named RSS aggregator provider NewsGator is releasing a server product for enterprises that want to use RSS for behind-the-firewall purposes:

NewsGator is developing an enterprise service, code-named Dino, that provides the engine behind its public NewsGator Online Web-based aggregator within an organization’s firewall, said Greg Reinacker, chief technology officer for the Denver-based company.

Tentatively called NewsGator Enterprise Server, the software is expected to begin being beta tested next month and to be generally released later this year, Reinacker said. The server product also will include an option for integrating it into Microsoft Corp.’s Active Directory for single sign-on access, and Microsoft Exchange for accessing feeds through Outlook.

“More and more companies are starting to use internal content distributed in the form of RSS,” Reinacker said. “Having this content delivered internally in a secure manner is really kind of the sweet spot for [enterprises] right now.”

You can imagine a good NewsGator product that would take a user’s public web subscriptions and mix them with their corporate, private RSS feeds in a single interface. It may not be ideal if you prefer another aggregator, but it’s a lot better than having the same feeds on some random aggregator’s server. I think they’ll get good uptake on this, and it’s a great way to distinguish themselves from other aggregators. (And hey — they’re just a screensaver away from completely reimplementing PointCast!)

The general issue of RSS privacy and security has been very poorly-addressed so far. What if I want to start getting my credit card transactions through RSS? I’m a Bloglines user — that won’t be such a good situation. Do I use a separate aggregator for my private, personal feeds, and Bloglines just for the public stuff? Ugh. Maybe what’s needed is something like Google’s Desktop search product: take my private data and insert it into the browser display of my public data. In Google’s case, search results from the Google servers are combined with search results from your home machine. I’d love it if Bloglines could do the same sort of thing — give me a desktop aggregator that pulls my private feeds directly, and then push the data into my browser’s view of the Bloglines public site.

I’m not as excited about Rojo’s ideas, covered in the same article. RSS + browser aggregation + social networks + search + tags + sharing….these feel like six features in search of an author.