eBay Hops Aboard The RSS Train

Online auction giant eBay is the latest e-commerce player to embrace the RSS content syndication format to stay in touch with customers.

On the heels of similar
support
for RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) from Amazon.com and Yahoo , eBay has now rolled out two RSS feeds. They are designed to shuttle general announcements and system status messages to users with news aggregators.

Senior manager of developer relations at eBay, Jeffrey McManus, announced the RSS rollout on his weblog and said the feeds would be used to push special offers, promotions and system status messages via RSS. “[There are] highly recommended if you use a Weblog reader and are the
least bit serious about using eBay,” McManus said.

The RSS feeds, which appear to be targeting the hardcore eBay buyer and
shopper, are available here: General Announcements and
System Announcements.

While the adoption of the XML-based technology by eBay will help push
consumer adoption of RSS, industry watchers say the company should allow
users to create customized RSS feeds. The third-party Free Bidding Tools Web
site offers a service
that allows users to generate RSS feed from an eBay search but similar
functionality is not yet available from eBay.

For the most part, RSS usage has been limited to techies and early
adopters but, with major news sites and e-commerce players embracing the
technology, many expect the average online user to be using feed aggregators
as much as e-mail clients.

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