RSS (known as Really Simple Syndication or occasionally as Rich Site Summary and RDF Site Summary) is defined by PC Magazine as follows:
A syndication format that was developed by Netscape in 1999 and became very popular for aggregating updates to blogs and news sites.
Although I’m not advocating to actually change the RSS definition, perhaps it’s time we viewed it as more than syndication of content. Another way to view RSS is as a collaborative behaviour. Imagine it as a mechanism in which we, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0/Social Business consumers and creators, aggregate, enhance and improve user-generated social content itself. Rather than thinking RSS is merely a technical gadget that provides collated content to our various RSS readers, we can begin to think of it as a collaborative behaviour. A behaviour that can help the user with their own learning, perhaps saving time in the learning process itself, or better yet – improving the content over time. As various content comes flooding into your reader, the behaviour is not only to read it; the behaviour should be to augment the content with either your personal comments or your own individual thoughts (blog, article, video, etc.) be it at that moment or at a later date after appropriate synthesis. My belief is that many non-2.0 trailblazers (ie. the majority of the population) either don’t understand the power of RSS, or use it simply to read content, not to contribute back. Knowing full well the term “Rhizophilous Social Sources” is far too indiscernible, I’m interested in it from the perspective of thinking of RSS as a collaborative behaviour. Rhizophilous itself is a scientific term that has more to do with plants and is defined as:
Growing or thriving on or near roots.
If you take the word ‘roots’ and use it interchangeably with ‘original content’, the purpose of RSS then becomes the behaviour in which users are sourcing social, user generated content and adding (ie. growing) to the original root through their own ideas, input, feedback, etc. through their readers. (yes, I’m aware it’s not only social user generated content that can be fed through RSS readers) Bottom line is that when introducing RSS to your users, we all should be positioning it as both a technological marvel as well as a collaborative behaviour, and not just as a fancy tool. That defeats the purpose.


Find out if you’re currently blooming, budding, stunted or in need of renewal through the Work-Life Bloom Personal Assessment.



  • Dan is a conference organizer’s ideal speaker. Not only did he inspire and energize our group, but he also masterfully adapted his content so it resonated with the audience and our conference theme. As a bonus, Dan is able to nimbly navigate to adjust to a reduced time slot when other speakers went over time without sacrificing the impact of his session.

    Director and General Counsel
  • Dan accomplished what we set out to do, which was not only to be inspirational, but also to leave everyone with tools and food for thought / self-reflection to improve their personal and professional lives.

    Hermann Handa, FCT
  • Dan challenged us to have clarity of purpose, both as individuals and as an organization. He related inspiring stories drawing on his experience in business, technology and academia. As he said, ‘There is no ownership without belonging.’

    Christian Pantel, D2L
  • Dan Pontefract suggests leaders must be transformational and transactional, collaborative and considerate, daring and decisive, inclusive and insistent, playful and formal, harmonious, and humble, encouraging and results-driven. In a word, Flat.

    Robert Morris
    “How to strengthen engagement, empowerment, and execution, then leverage them for a decisive competitive advantage”

Media Appearances

sidebar hashtag menu home office pencil images camera headphones music video-camera bullhorn connection mic book books file-empty files-empty folder folder-open price-tag barcode qrcode cart coin-dollar coin-euro mobile user users user-plus user-minus key lock unlocked glass mug spoon-knife fire bin switch cloud-download cloud-upload bookmark star-empty star-half star-full play pause stop backward forward first last previous next eject volume-high volume-medium volume-low volume-mute amazon google whatsapp twitter dribbble behance behance-black github appleinc finder windows8 skype pinterest pinterest-o chrome firefox edge safari opera file-pdf file-word file-excel html-five asterisk search search-plus search-minus cog arrow-circle-o-down arrow-circle-o-up edit share-square-o check-square-o arrows question-circle arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up arrow-down mail-forward expand compress eye eye-slash comment twitter-square facebook-square camera-retro cogs comments thumbs-o-up thumbs-o-down sign-out linkedin-square external-link sign-in unlock feed bell-o arrow-circle-left arrow-circle-right arrow-circle-up arrow-circle-down globe filter arrows-alt link paperclip bars envelope linkedin rotate-left bell angle-left angle-right angle-up angle-down desktop mail-reply mail-reply-all chain-broken chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right chevron-circle-up chevron-circle-down html5 unlock-alt youtube-square youtube-play dropbox stack-overflow apple windows trello female male arrow-circle-o-right arrow-circle-o-left wordpress file-image-o paper-plane paper-plane-o share-alt cc-visa cc-paypal cc-stripe bell-slash bell-slash-o facebook-official trademark registered wikipedia-w question-circle-o