Is ZebTab RSS for the masses?

Recently I wrote about the need for RSS to evolve, primarily to start giving back value to the commercial RSS Publishers and to further simplify the RSS experience for non-technical readers, which I feel is vital if the size of the RSS market is to grow beyond just the technically minded minority (us) who are just fine and dandy with our desktop “rivers of news” style RSS aggregators.

Well one UK company Zebtab™ recently developed a branded desktop RSS aggregator for content owners that supports both advertising and feedback usage statistics, whilst at the same time remaining simple enough for the non-technical mass market users to consume RSS just like an online magazine.

The Zebtab beta client is an application that you download once and it launches on your desktop (not in a browser – see above). When not in use it hides itself out of the way on the right hand side of the desktop with only a small tab remaining visible. The Zebtab client automatically reappears when new RSS updates are recieved. The client I downloaded comes preconfigured with a number of branded “content channels” which are organised into tabs, such as those from Maxim and Chelsea FC.I can imagine non-technical web users really liking ZebTab because the terms RSS, Aggregator and XML are never used and yet they still have content pushed to them. Speaking with Zebtab’s founders a few weeks back, prior to this launch, it was clear that they will be adding a number of new content partners in the coming weeks and improving the look and feel of the client to match the content brands.

In manys ways, this jargon free aspect is part of the reason why Skinkers Desktop Newsagent has been so successful to date.