Deeje calls my attention to a post by Ted Schadler of Forrester (substituting while Charlene Li gets some much deserved R&R) on why PointCast (note the internal caps, folks! *smirk*) died.
Ted states, “Push exploded on the scene with Pointcast, landed faddishly on millions of desktops, and then just as quickly died away. (Of course, Push has been rehabilitated as RSS, but Push’s big problem — content overload — remains.)”
Ted, we’ll have to disagree on this one. Prior to and after the Connections Channel (our open to all channel based on CDF, the precursor to RSS), PointCast users were limited to 10 channels (except in certain OEM and intranet uses, where the number was 11 or 12). I don’t recall a single complaint from users about feeling “overwhelmed” by the amount of PointCast content they could gather; rather, it was IT admins complaining that users liked PointCast too much (i.e., that the app used too much bandwidth). Bandwidth saturation != end user content saturation.
That said, content saturation is a real problem and RSS/aggregation “enhances” it; I know, I just got finished scanning 7500 posts from the past 5 weeks. It happens with RSS, it happens at your local Chinese all-you-can-eat buffett, and it happens in TiVO equipped households. Ultimately, it’s self inflicted and self-curing (though some very obvious functionality could make it all a lot easier to deal with).