Apr 22

Marc Hedlund

Marc Hedlund

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.

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Comments: 9

  Charlie Wood [04.28.05 07:25 AM]

Submitting a trackback for this entry using the URL "" returns "1 Invalid TrackBack ID '820'".

  Ross Mayfield [04.28.05 09:51 AM]

Great point. This is exactly why Socialtext developed a wiki and weblog appliance a year and a half ago which complements intra-aggregation.

  Charlie Wood [04.29.05 06:30 AM]

Submitting a trackback for this entry using the URL "" returns "1 Invalid TrackBack ID '820'".


  David Thomson [05.03.05 08:58 AM]

We're doing this for the financial services community. It's based on a secure, distributed instant messaging engine that then allows you to look at other peoples' RSS feeds as a part of a "personal web index". Every time you view an RSS feed it indexes the content and every time you save something from an RSS feed it also indexes it and keeps track of where it came from. So, you can do very interesting queries such as "who has also viewed this URL inside my company recently", or "who has also viewed this URL within two degrees of my recently used contacts". Additionally, it keeps track of all the keyword queries that other people have done on your own index and then automatically associates those with your own tags of the same entry as a way of finding related concepts and queries. It also allows you to check a piece of content (such as an email or document...indexes PDF, DOC, all office files using OpenOffice conversion) against someone else's keyword and concept/tag history before sending it to them. You are welcome to contact me for an invitation. We are planning to open the code soon as well.

  Sameer Siruguri [08.24.05 11:43 PM]

Marc rightly points out that "the general issue of RSS privacy and security has been very poorly addressed so far." I am working with staff at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and we are interested in looking at precisely these issues. Would anyone have an idea on issues surrounding the potential effects of RSS technologies on privacy? In particular:

  1. What is the market penetration of RSS aggregators? What are the relative levels of usage of web-based and client-based aggregators?

  2. What personally identifiable information (PPI) can aggregators possibly collect, or would be motivated to collect?
  3. Have these issues been raised by anyone, in the context of any aggregator software in particular?
  4. I would be very happy to correspond on these issues, or to hear from you about who else I could contact for this kind of information, or if there are online resources I can use to get it.


  Nezahualcoyotl [10.08.07 12:28 PM]

Right now, aggregators are largely deployed, and as any other web service I don't have any news about secure RSS, whith this I mean that all the data that go through the internet connection is not encripted in any way.

  ruhan [02.21.08 01:51 AM]

The Emu (yazilim) and digital some (kanallarin) coded while loaded to the dependent receivers ' memories a password while becoming alive. The time which you loaded your machines the Emu (yazilim) your problematic salesman who will exist to the you the guaranty which she offered does not enter your extent. Which the (yazilim) were not produced after the expert is produced from a persons side undefined.


  evden eve nakliyeciler [06.02.08 04:54 AM]

This is exactly why Socialtext developed a wiki and weblog appliance a year and a half ago which complements intra aggregation.

  J. Rensmann [02.03.09 11:31 PM]

Great points Marc - just wanting to put some of your attention go our company:

We just did it other way areound and startet with the screen saver - and where quite more successfull but at that times pointcast!

The effect: Companies can use internal rss based screen saver and desktop widgets to bring "must know" and "should know" content to users desktop - generating awareness of beaten tracks like eMail and Newsletters.

Clients include Ferrari, Dt. Telekom, T-Mobile or DHL - creating 4-7 times more traffic on the intranet! Combine this with Newsgator backend services and you have a powerfull infrastructure on the backend and on the frontend!

And you are right: This is where former "pointcast" aimed for more or less... - see

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