Feedburner's been all over my radar today.
First, I noticed they were going to start supporting Google Adsense ads in RSS. I mentioned it in my previous post along with a bunch of related advertising issues.
Second, there's the big news that Feedburner is now supporting the new MediaRSS spec from Yahoo. ...which I helped to contribute to if only in a very, very minor way. (What can I say, it didn't need much of my help with all the great contributors.)
Feedburner's support of MediaRSS will help EVERYONE out... from content producers to Yahoo to consumers looking for videos. What it means is blogged videos will be piped directly, if not indirectly crawled by the yahoo search engine with all their metadata intact. Better metadata means better searching, better finding, and more exposure for video bloggers and podcasters everywhere. Let's not forget podcasters here. Expect for all the major search engines to pick up on it including Altavista and Google as well as some of the great blog specific search engines like Blogsnow, Feedster and Technoratti. MediaRSS is going to bring a wealth of new information about video and audio based content into the search engines. With it 2005 may well be the year the web got media rich!
Finally, a friend pointed out to me that one of the Socialtext crew, Rick Klau, has moved over to Feedburner.
In conclusion, since pretty much the beginning of the year when there were only a couple hundred feeds Feedburner has taken a narrow sliver of a market, one that didn't even exist a year ago and used it to drive the success of podcasting and video blogging. It's safe to say with over 50,000 feeds created just since the beginning of the year that these guys have invented an industry around RSS and metadata where none had previously existed. It blows my sox off. It's quite possible that the world of podcasting and video blogging as we know it would not have come into existence without them. At the very least, we'd not be anywhere near where we are now.
Feedburner has made audio and video syndication understandable by the average human and in doing so have helped democratize media. That 50,000 feeds mark represents just about every major podcast and vlog I know and of course they've branched out into all sorts of photo and regular blog feeds just because they do what they do so well that their benefits have spilled over into already established markets. They're truly the unsung hero's of the new media revolution.
So, there is that and the fact that and I cannot wait to try out the new media RSS. I'll be soliciting and shopping it around to podcasting and video blogging aggregation and application makers like FireANT, iPodder, iPodderX and more, because of course I can't begin to put together structured micro-programming until it's supported by the aggregators.
Micro-programing? MediaRSS ads multiple enclosure (attachment) support per blog post which will theoretically allow me to splice together multiple video sources into a post so they can be played back as a single cohesive piece... in short I can program miniature shows. Evil malicious grin. :)
Multi-enclosure support means I could open a post with a clip from one source on a server on the other side of the planet, do a video introduction of my own with a clip hosted on my server, and then show a third clip from yet another source. Not only can I string together these disparate video clips from different sources together in a cohesive show, but they don't even need to be in the same format or codec. One could be Win Media, one Quicktime and one Mpeg.
Multi-enclosure RSS is the epitome of "small pieces loosely joined". In this case though it's small pieces of video content loosely joined into a cohesive show.
Why's this better than the old RSS spec? Because the old enclosure spec did allowed for one enclosure per post at a time and the order and indeed the integrity of the pieces couldn't be verified.
Oh and btw, it appears both Socialtext and Feedburner both just completed rounds of VC funding, though I don't have the specifics. Sorry Ross I don't play games. I'm no fun that way, but I have noticed the internet media sector is really getting hot these days.