Jon nails it. If email direct marketers practiced what they preached, they'd use RSS as it is today: an opt-in media instead of using email which is a 'impossible-to-opt-out' media.
And I expect to see more and more personal RSS feeds!
From Jon Udell: Pushmepullyou:
I think the rhetoric of email direct marketing -- that it's an opt-in, customer-controlled medium -- should correspond to the reality. It makes email direct marketers understandably nervous when I point out that RSS has all the right characteristics -- including, nowadays, lower cost, given the expense incurred on both ends of the email pipe in order to keep the channel clear.
Obviously direct marketers will be among the last to relinquish channel control to the customer. Meanwhile, there's another species of email that's ripe for migration to RSS: institutional alerts. My bank, for example, sends me email alerts when my checking balance falls below $500. To separate those alerts from my spam filters on the one hand, and from my interpersonal email on the other hand, I had to write a filter to catch them and route them to a folder. Many (probably most) people won't go that extra mile. They'll have to pluck the bank's messages from a chaotic email stream, and will wind up missing some alerts.
The obvious alternative is a personalized RSS feed. Does anyone have this already? I'm hoping that, before the end of this year, at least one of the institutions that currently sends me email alerts will offer an RSS option.