January 8, 2009
The Grants.gov PMO announced on September 4, 2008 its inclusion of an RSS feed on the Grants.gov website.
Its development and Inclusion of the RSS feed adds to the 255+ existing U.S. Government RSS feeds. The URL launch site for the U.S. Government feeds is: http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RSS_Library.shtml
The present feed sorts grant opportunities by Agency and Category. In January 2009 the RSS will evolve by adding two additional feeds: new opportunities and existing opportunities that have been modified.
In the coming months the Grants.gov RSS will undergo further evolution and increased usability.
At the present time the RSS feed supplements, it cannot replace, the Grants.gov email notifications system.
On a nightly basis, Grants.gov transmits >650,000 emails updating potential applicants of grant opportunities and or modifications. The present burden consumes significant processing power on a system with finite capabilities. As a consequence, the applicant attempting to submit an application may find him/herself competing with the email burden for processing power.
Our strategy to alleviate the burden consists of 4 steps:
Implement and evolve a dynamic RSS feed that may, in some cases, obviate the need for email notification.
Because we know that many emails are sent to dead mailboxes, we will eventually require all present recipients to periodically re-enroll in the email notification system. This will clean up our present email listing inasmuch as non-existent email addresses will be culled from the list.
When re-enrolling, the term of the enrollment will be time limited (i.e., six months or annual). This will prevent the open-ended nature of the present system allowing for and institutionalizing a continuous self-scrubbing approach to business.
As the RSS feed matures, there will be a continuous campaign encouraging movement to RSS feeds vice emails.
The Grants.gov e-mail notification system may not entirely disappear to the degree the PMO desires, but any significant reduction will save monies during a time of limited funding. Moreover, as Grants.gov moves to a cloud computing environment, an arena based on transactional costs, the fewer e-mails sent the lower the costs for the grantor agencies.