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Future: Ads Are Coming to RSS

What started as a technique enabling bloggers to share links, comments, and original content has caught the eye of professional information providers and entrepreneurs. As RSS goes mainstream, publishers have started experimenting with ways to make their feeds pay for themselves. Here are a few examples of what the future may bring.

Interstitial page ads: The New York Times partnered with Userland to provide ad-free news summary feeds; but when you click a summary, you often encounter a sponsor's ad before being redirected to the Nytimes.com story page.

In-feed advertising: InfoWorld.com and some other publications have begun inserting plain text ads immediately after the text of their RSS feed items, much as Yahoo Groups mailing lists do with e-mail subscriptions.

Sponsors' links as feed items: Daypop.com--a current-events search engine that crawls major news sites and Weblogs--paid its bandwidth bills for the year simply by placing ads on its front page and inside its RSS Top News feed.

Value-added services: A number of sites sell custom RSS feeds based on searches. For example, RSSJobs.com will monitor the results of your job searches on HotJobs, Monster.com, and other sites, and deliver the results in an RSS feed.

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