Yahoo integrates RSS into Mail client

RSS reading is going to be integrated into the next version of Yahoo Mail which is out in limited beta (to get on the beta list, go to What’s New with Yahoo! Mail). John Furrier sat down to talk with Scott Gatz and Ethan Diamond of Yahoo who both played a big part in the integration. Scott has also posted a couple of screenshots so you can see what it looks like).

Scott’s got some great things to say about how Yahoo views RSS from the perspective of the average Joe and, in the quote below, how Yahoo envisions enabling personal networks of the future.

We recognize that people consume RSS differently. Some want to read it on their mobile device, some want to read on their on
personalized home page….in their Inbox, some want to be tapped on the shoulder when their feed has been updated, some want to read it on Yahoo news, and some people want to search through it. Some people want to do a little bit of all of that. The great thing about Yahoo is we learn about you, we learn about what sources you care about, and we integrate all of those pieces so they come together. If you are at your home computer, your work computer… on your phone, no matter where you are at… that information should follow you. It shouldn’t be tied to one computer… one software application. It should follow you wherever you go. That is the benefit of personalization on Yahoo… the idea that it knows who you are, it remembers those things and makes them easier and easier… as we integrate it throughout the entirety of Yahoo…wherever you want it to be.

This will be the beauty of synching your personal details to a service and “living in the cloud.” Microsoft’s recent announcement of Windows & Office Live is not all that revolutionary. Apple had their .mac service and Synch around before that and Yahoo’s Address Book, Calendar, and Notepad have been delivering an internet-enabled PIM for years. Putting stuff online and having it available whenever and wherever you need it is old hat. The next step is to have your information synch seemlessly between your various internet-enabled devices and begin to make choices for you based on your method of access.

I subscribe to a feed of traffic conditions on my reader because a feed saves me browsing to a site and entering in a few keystrokes. I really only look at this feed right before I head to my car to go home. Sometimes I forget to check and then there’s that panic as I drive towards the freeway and have to decide between two or three routes home. Which will it be? I hope the traffic update from Dana Fields comes on NPR before I have to choose.

The smart alternative is to have Yahoo! send me alerts of any severe traffic conditions that may impact my drive home via SMS to my cell phone from 4 to 7 pm each night. That’s utility.

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