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458Re: RSS as a way to manage file distributions (revised)

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  • infosential
    Jun 1, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      John
      fascinated by the RSS enclosure functionality.

      Is this widely available - now? and if so do you know if Movable
      Type has the capability.

      many thanks
      Wayne

      --- In klogs@yahoogroups.com, John Robb <jrobb@o...> wrote:
      > Dear K-Loggers,
      >
      > A defining aspect of a K-Log network is that it is an extremely
      effective
      > one-to-many publishing system. What makes a K-Log network
      effective (as opposed
      > to communications systems like e-mail, phone, and IM) is its
      passivity. What do
      > I mean? People aren't forced to read what's published. Readers
      only visit or
      > subscribe to a K-Log when they have a need to do so or if they
      deem what the
      > author says is important. This passivity allows readers to batch
      process their
      > reading and be selective about who they read. This optimization
      saves time.
      >
      > This feature makes K-Logs a great distribution system for files
      (like
      > multimedia and office documents). Increasingly, employees are
      using easy-to-use tools to create
      > audio and video files of meetings, events, interviews, and more.
      They already
      > produce loads of documents that are often quite large.
      >
      > So, how should people distribute this content? One way is through
      e-mail
      > attachments. However, this method has two major drawbacks. First,
      it bogs down
      > e-mail servers. Given that most people keep a significant portion
      of their
      > e-mail on a server, an e-mail with a 2 Mb attachment sent to 300
      other employees
      > produces 600 Mb of bloat in the e-mail database. That's not a good
      thing and it
      > drives sys-admins nuts given the limitations on e-mail databases.
      Also, it
      > forces people to download it whether they are interested in it or
      not. This is
      > particularly bad over a slow connection when on the road.
      >
      > A second way is to just post it to a file folder on a file server.
      The problem
      > with this is that it strands the file, without sufficient context.
      This context
      > is necessary. It provides people with a reason to download the
      file.
      > Additionally, given the status of most files systems I have ever
      seen, it will
      > likely be lost forever in a jumble of shared files. A third way is
      to use
      > shared workspaces (collaboration tools). Unfortunately, while
      these systems may
      > provide a small modicum of improvement in delivering crucial
      contextual data,
      > they share the same limitations of communications tools like e-
      mail: they work
      > best within the context of small groups and not very well in a one-
      many
      > environment.
      >
      > In my view, the best way to distribute a large file is to publish
      it via a K-Log
      > to the Intranet. Here's why:
      >
      > 1) Sharing. Using this method people reading a K-Log can find out
      how file
      > relates to the author's worklife; before they download it. For
      example, "Here
      > is a video of a example sales presentation for product xxx," or "I
      just revised
      > my marketing presentation for product yyy. It includes some new
      graphs on
      > performance of the system that the product team thinks are
      necessary to explain
      > to customers." This relevant information saves time, effort, and
      limits
      > confusion. It makes effective sharing possible.
      >
      > 2) Trust: K-Logs introduce a large measure of trust into the act
      of
      > distributing files. The file is attached to an identifiable person
      within the
      > organization. Additionally, there is little threat of virus laden
      files on a
      > K-Log relative to e-mail. The very nature of K-Logs contains virus
      propagation.
      >
      > 3) Archives. With K-Logs, Intranet's become an archive of what
      goes on within a
      > company. In regards to file storage, K-Logs provide the archival
      data
      > necessary to understanding why the was created, when it was
      created, why it
      > should be used, where it should be used, and much more. Intranet
      search
      > functionality is also improved because the value of the file is
      enhanced by the
      > number of K-Logs pointing to it (particularly when Google's
      appliance is used).
      >
      > 4) Economics. Since only the people that want to download the file
      download it.
      > Additionally, forwarding large files within a K-Log context
      becomes a snap.
      > All I need to do to forward a file is to either post a link to my
      K-Log for my
      > readers to use or send the link via e-mail directly to people that
      could benefit
      > from it. Very simple and lightweight. There is very little wasted
      bandwidth,
      > storage, or server utilization.
      >
      > Another aspect of a K-Log network that is starting to gain
      traction is distributing
      > files as part of an RSS subscription (Disney is using this
      technique to distribute
      > large files to 2 m users). K-Logs automatically publish
      syndicatable
      > content in the form of RSS (a standard syndication format). That
      means if I am
      > using an RSS aggregator tool on my desktop, I can subscribe to the
      K-Logs I find
      > interesting and get all the new posts automatically without having
      to visit the
      > sites. Further, all of these subscriptions are aggregated on a
      single "news"
      > page for easy scanning. Most people use this functionality to keep
      track of an
      > order of magnitude more sites than they can through simple
      bookmark-enabled
      > browsing.
      >
      > What isn't well known is that it is possible to include a large
      file as an
      > enclosure with an RSS feed. That means that subscribers can
      automatically get
      > all files I publish, delivered to their desktop, without having to
      go through
      > the process of active downloading. Enclosure downloading can also
      be time
      > shifted to occur only during the wee hours of the night to prevent
      congestion
      > problems (this can be done by simply typing in the time you want
      things to be
      > downloaded). This also means that when a reader clicks on a large
      file that has
      > been distributed as an enclosure, it launches immediately. There
      isn't any
      > world-wide-wait.
      >
      > There has also been some good work integrating P2P (a clean
      corporate version of Napster
      > and KaZaA) into RSS enclosure distribution. This would make
      distribution even
      > less expensive to do.
      >
      > In conclusion, if you are a company that deals with lots of
      multimedia files and
      > multiple revisions of documents, K-Logs should be a simple
      solution to many of
      > your woes.
      >
      > Sincerely,
      >
      > John Robb
      >
      > http://jrobb.userland.com
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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