Recently I spoke with Dave Lewis, vice president of deliverability management and ISP relations at Digital Impact. His company's motto: “Making e-mail marketing more effective is our single-minded passion.” In one of his online essays, entitled “How to Keep B-to-B E-mail From Getting Caught in Filters,” his first rule is “Get permission.”

I argued that RSS does away with the need for marketers to ask our permission, for us to grant it, for marketers to play by the rules when we revoke it, and for us to trust that marketers will play by the rules. With e-mail marketing, control resides with the sender and permission is a “best practice.” With RSS, control resides with the recipient and permission is an inherent property of the medium.

I feel Dave's pain. E-mail direct marketers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They believe e-mail is necessary because it's an “intrusive” medium, yet they are forced to neuter e-mail's intrusiveness by complying with the opt-in gold standard. Unfortunately, there's no middle ground. With RSS recipients can have, and increasingly will demand, control of the channel.

Dave and I agreed on one point. “You'd be crazy not to communicate with your customers in their medium of choice,” he said. My preference is RSS. Trust me with control of the channel, and I'll be more likely to trust you with my business. [Full story at InfoWorld.com]

In this column I deconstruct “push” and “pull” and determine that, when it comes to modes of electronic communication, these terms mean basically nothing. What matters is who controls the channel of communication, not how we construe the direction of flow. [Jon's Radio]

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