Friday, December 9, 2005

RSS Feeds Come Home to Wall Street via StreetIQ.com

RSS feeds used to syndicate weblogs and other simple XML-formatted content have made it possible for people from all walks of life to be content distributors, something that used to be reserved for news organizations, stock markets and the like. So it's kind of interesting that StreetIQ.com is partnering with FeedBurner to provide financial quote data in a standardized XML format via FeedBurner's platform. FeedBurner will be using FinancialContent's RSS format for financial data to provide standard metadata such as ticker symbols and market categorizations. This kind of extension allows market commentary via text and podcasts to be pulled into applications that can place related content contextually around the feed's output. The unsung virtue of RSS and related simple XML-based syndication tools is the ability to insert more sophisticated XML packaging with a general XML wrapper. If the receiving application does not have mapping for these elements they're ignored, allowing simple transmission of content for those who need it and sophisticated transmissions for those who do - all without any changes to coding on the receiver's end.

With a proliferation of highly sophisticated content channels in professional financial circles RSS is in some ways a forgotten stepchild at this point by hard-core traders, but as StreetContent.com illustrates RSS can allow a proliferation of far more sophisticated financial content on an opt-in subscription basis than may have otherwise been the case. Financial institutions looking to hold down costs may want to consider other extensions of RSS that could allow for the simple establishment of information streams to prospective institutional buyers and sellers. The idea of transmitting sophisticated XML-packaged objects with a wide variety of content and transaction elements embedded in them is just beginning to come into its own and can be expected to accelerate as institutions seek to develop new ways to have execution capabilities built into every communication with the marketplace. RSS may not be the right vehicle for many of these communications, but it may turn out to be an interesting staging ground for institutions who need to re-invigorate one-to-one relationships with trading partners who are already embracing RSS feeds with enthusiasm.
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