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Re: Evangelizing RSS

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  • travelers@csi.com
    ... RSS ... There is a good book called Information Rules . It talks about the value of information as a commodity. Check it out. The marginal cost is
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 16, 2001
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      --- In syndication@y..., Julian Bond <julian@n...> wrote:
      > What's in it for the traditional media outlets to publish a public
      RSS
      > feed?

      There is a good book called 'Information Rules'. It talks about the
      value of information as a commodity. Check it out.

      The marginal cost is distributing digital information approaches zero
      (everybody knows that). So a business model that fights it is
      fighting an uphill battle. When they use banner ads, they are
      fighting it.

      All architectures have the same three components in varying degress -
      data, logic and presentation. By using banner ads, you are putting a
      fence around 'presentation'. Shipping RSS (or any XML for that
      matter) sends out the data - your value escapes through the backdoor.
      If you bank on the information itself or the logic then you have a
      model that is strengthened the more the information is shared - and
      it costs you nothing to share. For example, Reuters categorizes
      information - that is valuable enough that people will prefer their
      version of information - even at the cost of some cash. Others like
      Google have highly relevant information sorted near the top - the
      information itself is valuable. If you like either information
      source, you have to go back to them because nobody does it better-
      even though the raw 'information' might be available. Hmm, perhaps
      the 'collection' (the group, ordering, filtering, etc.) is the
      something that has the 'proprietary' value.

      Other ways to add value via pure information is to make it more
      timely, more relevant, more entertaining, more unique, more
      whatever...

      MikeD
    • Jeff Barr
      When I tell people about syndication I like to do some comparisons to banner ads: Like a banner ad, a syndication file: * Is provided to draw traffic to the
      Message 2 of 18 , Feb 16, 2001
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        When I tell people about syndication I like to do some comparisons
        to banner ads:

        Like a banner ad, a syndication file:

        * Is provided to draw traffic to the site.

        * Provides information about the site to raise interest (headlines for
        an RSS file, images or text for an ad).

        * Provides a way to navigate from the ad to the site (URL).

        * Is provided in one place and consumed in another.

        However:

        * Banner ads provide no interesting machine-readable information.
        Headlines, by way of comparison, can be indexed, sorted, categorized,
        aggregated and so forth. The intermediaries between the original
        RSS file and the ultimate presentation can add value in many ways.

        * The original site has to pay to get a banner ad placed. Since the
        syndicated information adds value to the syndicating site and to the
        site presenting the headlines, payment is generally not an issue. The
        syndicating site gains traffic, and the presenting site gains access
        to useful content.

        * Headlines, by their nature, are always fresh. Once you've seen an
        ad 5 or 10 times, you will subconsciously filter it out. But headlines
        change all the time.

        Jeff;


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Julian Bond [mailto:julian@...]
        Sent: Friday, February 16, 2001 1:31 PM
        To: syndication@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [syndication] Evangelizing RSS


        What's in it for the traditional media outlets to publish a public RSS
        feed?

        I'm curious about NY Times vs Red Herring, Guardian

        --
        Julian Bond mail:julian@...
        workurl:http://www.netmarketseurope.com
        weblog:http://roguemoon.manilasites.com
        ICQ:33679668 Tel:+44 (0)20 7420 4363
        tag: So many words, so little time
      • Rael Dornfest
        Howdy, Quite simply, RSS is a win-win-win... * Web site producers acquire eyeballs via textual banner ads that folks are more than thrilled to host. *
        Message 3 of 18 , Feb 17, 2001
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          Howdy,

          Quite simply, RSS is a win-win-win...

          * Web site producers acquire eyeballs via textual banner ads that
          folks are more than thrilled to host.

          * End-users get one-stop-reading, a centralized location into which
          teasers
          from their favorite web sites flow.

          * Sites hosting these RSS items, of course, acquire pseudo-content for
          free.

          This is as true for traditional media outlets as an individual with a
          Weblog. It's a t-shirt giveaway that costs practically nil.

          Rael

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@...>
          To: <syndication@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, February 16, 2001 2:03 PM
          Subject: [syndication] Re: Evangelizing RSS


          > Julian Bond <julian@...> wrote:
          >
          > > What's in it for the traditional media outlets to publish a public RSS
          > > feed?
          >
          > More flow to their site -- more hits, more fun.
          >
          > --
          > [ Aaron Swartz | me@... | http://www.aaronsw.com ]
          >
          >
          >
        • Julian Bond
          In article , Rael Dornfest writes ... Agreed. So how do we get the news outlets, who already
          Message 4 of 18 , Feb 18, 2001
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            In article <012101c09918$260069c0$0401000a@...>, Rael Dornfest
            <rael@...> writes
            >Howdy,
            >
            >Quite simply, RSS is a win-win-win...
            >
            > * Web site producers acquire eyeballs via textual banner ads that
            > folks are more than thrilled to host.

            Agreed. So how do we get the news outlets, who already syndicate via
            Moreover, to add the XML button to their sites. Can I suggest a campaign
            to email all your favourite news sources suggesting they make public an
            RSS feed?

            Still puzzled about the NY Times problem.

            --
            Julian Bond mail:julian@...
            workurl:http://www.netmarketseurope.com
            weblog:http://roguemoon.manilasites.com
            ICQ:33679668 Tel:+44 (0)20 7420 4363
            tag: So many words, so little time
          • Rael Dornfest
            Howdy, ... Just to be clear, these sites are not actually creating syndicated feeds themselves at all, but are rather screen-scraped by Moreover and those
            Message 5 of 18 , Feb 18, 2001
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              Howdy,

              Julian Bond writes:

              > <rael@...> writes
              > >Howdy,
              > >
              > >Quite simply, RSS is a win-win-win...
              > >
              > > * Web site producers acquire eyeballs via textual banner ads that
              > > folks are more than thrilled to host.
              >
              > Agreed. So how do we get the news outlets, who already syndicate via
              > Moreover, to add the XML button to their sites. Can I suggest a campaign

              Just to be clear, these sites are not actually creating syndicated feeds
              themselves at all, but are rather screen-scraped by Moreover and those
              scrapings turned into RSS. They don't have to do a thing. Getting them to
              produce their own home-grown RSS files is something else entirely.

              > to email all your favourite news sources suggesting they make public an
              > RSS feed?

              I tended to do this for quite some time (still do on occasion), but didn't
              get much of a response. For efficacy, this should be a larger-scale
              effort -- of what form, I'm not sure.

              Rael
            • Julian Bond
              In article , Rael Dornfest writes ... Well you learn something every day! I d tried to get one of
              Message 6 of 18 , Feb 18, 2001
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                In article <007101c0998d$a43d67a0$0401000a@...>, Rael Dornfest
                <rael@...> writes
                >Just to be clear, these sites are not actually creating syndicated feeds
                >themselves at all, but are rather screen-scraped by Moreover and those
                >scrapings turned into RSS. They don't have to do a thing. Getting them to
                >produce their own home-grown RSS files is something else entirely.

                Well you learn something every day! I'd tried to get one of my RSS feeds
                registered on Moreover[1] and just naturally assumed that was how it was
                done. Ahead of the curve again, huh!

                [1] Unfortunately they want "cash" and being a cheapskate at a
                cheapskate org with no money, it'll have to wait. ;-(

                --
                Julian Bond mail:julian@...
                workurl:http://www.netmarketseurope.com
                weblog:http://roguemoon.manilasites.com
                ICQ:33679668 Tel:+44 (0)20 7420 4363
                tag: So many words, so little time
              • Jeff Barr
                Indeed, Moreover s model (as I understand it) it to make money by driving traffic to sites by syndicating the information to the site, and then charging the
                Message 7 of 18 , Feb 18, 2001
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                  Indeed, Moreover's model (as I understand it) it to make money by
                  driving traffic to sites by syndicating the information to the site,
                  and then charging the sites for the traffic that is sent to them via
                  a Moreover referral.

                  Technically, they do this by syndicating URLs to Moreover sites instead
                  of direct URLs to the content providers. The indirect URLs apparently
                  increment a counter (ka-ching), and then return a Location: value to
                  the browser to point it to the final destination.

                  Here is an article with even more info:

                  http://www.business2.co.uk/content/channels/infront/article.asp?ID=72

                  Jeff;

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Julian Bond [mailto:julian@...]
                  Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2001 10:35 AM
                  To: syndication@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [syndication] Re: Evangelizing RSS


                  In article <007101c0998d$a43d67a0$0401000a@...>, Rael Dornfest
                  <rael@...> writes
                  >Just to be clear, these sites are not actually creating syndicated feeds
                  >themselves at all, but are rather screen-scraped by Moreover and those
                  >scrapings turned into RSS. They don't have to do a thing. Getting them to
                  >produce their own home-grown RSS files is something else entirely.

                  Well you learn something every day! I'd tried to get one of my RSS feeds
                  registered on Moreover[1] and just naturally assumed that was how it was
                  done. Ahead of the curve again, huh!

                  [1] Unfortunately they want "cash" and being a cheapskate at a
                  cheapskate org with no money, it'll have to wait. ;-(

                  --
                  Julian Bond mail:julian@...
                  workurl:http://www.netmarketseurope.com
                  weblog:http://roguemoon.manilasites.com
                  ICQ:33679668 Tel:+44 (0)20 7420 4363
                  tag: So many words, so little time
                • Rael Dornfest
                  Howdy, ... campaign ... to ... parse ... This is the single biggest bit of feeback I receive regarding Meerkat s[1] use of Moreover[2] feeds... sometimes there
                  Message 8 of 18 , Feb 18, 2001
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                    Howdy,

                    Pino Calzo wrote:

                    > >> Agreed. So how do we get the news outlets, who already syndicate via
                    > >> Moreover, to add the XML button to their sites. Can I suggest a
                    campaign
                    >
                    > >Just to be clear, these sites are not actually creating syndicated feeds
                    > >themselves at all, but are rather screen-scraped by Moreover and those
                    > >scrapings turned into RSS. They don't have to do a thing. Getting them
                    to
                    > >produce their own home-grown RSS files is something else entirely.
                    >
                    > true for most of us. Also on NewsIsFree we have ca. 400 sites where we
                    parse
                    > the HTML and convert that into RSS and other XML formats. The
                    > difference we do is, that we try to include also the link descriptions
                    > where available (instead of a "link-only").

                    This is the single biggest bit of feeback I receive regarding Meerkat's[1]
                    use of Moreover[2] feeds... sometimes there just not enough tofu (read:
                    meat) in the title to inform the to click or not to click decision. Then
                    again, in strolling through the Moreover stories just a moment ago, I didn't
                    find this to be so; about the only one that left me flying blind was:

                    "Telecom firm lures venture capital"
                    http://c.moreover.com/click/here.pl?r15565605

                    > >> to email all your favourite news sources suggesting they make public an
                    > >> RSS feed?
                    > >I tended to do this for quite some time (still do on occasion), but
                    didn't
                    > >get much of a response. For efficacy, this should be a larger-scale
                    > >effort -- of what form, I'm not sure.
                    >
                    > I already thought about approaching the big CMS system with it.
                    > Most sites use on of the big CMS systems around (Vignette, Obtree C3
                    > etc.). I believe the "export to RSS" should be a function within these
                    > tools - most content sites don't even think about customizing their
                    > CMS-Systems so far..

                    There is such a vast amount of data trapped in CMS systems that its owners
                    wouldn't mind sharing a) if they thought it was worthwhile (eg. would grab a
                    few more _targeted_ audience), and b) if they knew how incredibly simple it
                    could be to create an XML view of their data.

                    Many of the Open Source solutions do indeed support RSS output right out of
                    the box. I worked with the folks at Slashcode[3] to beef up their RSS
                    support[4] by updating and making use of all the Perl XML::RSS module[5] has
                    to offer. Squishdot[6], a module for Zope[7] similarly has RSS support.
                    These are just a couple of examples of just how simply and quickly RSS can
                    be made us of by CMSs.

                    That said, of course I realise this assumes you know what you're doing
                    programmatically and can extend your CMS. This is often far beyond what
                    folks know how / have the time to do. So what to do? If you have the time,
                    know-how, and inclination, offer to help your favourite news sources. I've
                    taken a few folks' PHP, Perl, and Python in hand, providing the bits and
                    pieces necessary.

                    Rael

                    [1] http://meerkat.oreillynet.com
                    [2] http://www.moreover.com
                    [3] http://slashcode.com/
                    [4] http://slashcode.com/search.pl?query=rss
                    [5] http://search.cpan.org/search?dist=XML-RSS
                    [6] http://www.squishdot.org
                    [7] http://www.zope.org
                  • Julian Bond
                    Some campaigns that would be worth supporting. - For RSS everywhere, on every site, with a button - For Dublin Core metadata on every web page - Against
                    Message 9 of 18 , Feb 22, 2001
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                      Some campaigns that would be worth supporting.

                      - For RSS everywhere, on every site, with a button
                      - For Dublin Core metadata on every web page
                      - Against support for old browsers

                      And of course,
                      - Against HTML emails and MS Email Readers.

                      I bet there's others...

                      --
                      Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                      HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                      WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                      WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                      M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                      ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time
                    • Eugene E. Pervago
                      ... That would be great. And preferably with some sort of XML tag around it so that software can pick up this button and use the RSS file. ... This sure beats
                      Message 10 of 18 , Feb 22, 2001
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                        --- In syndication@y..., Julian Bond <julian@n...> wrote:
                        > Some campaigns that would be worth supporting.
                        >
                        > - For RSS everywhere, on every site, with a button
                        That would be great. And preferably with some sort of XML tag
                        around it so that software can pick up this button and use the
                        RSS file.

                        > - For Dublin Core metadata on every web page
                        This sure beats using META tags and allows much more useful
                        searches (e.g. search for all pages written by Julian Bond on subject
                        of RSS or syndication).

                        > - Against support for old browsers
                        Hmmm, I prefer 'For the standard-compliant browsers'.

                        > - Against HTML emails and MS Email Readers.
                        HTML emails - yes, MS Email Readers => 'For better security in mail
                        programs'

                        Eugene Pervago
                        pervago@...
                        ICQ: 6254981
                        WebLog: http://eugene.manilasites.com/
                      • Julian Bond
                        I have just had this conversation with a content provider. ... Here s another one from a site that outsources it s web development. I think I hit the
                        Message 11 of 18 , May 9, 2001
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                          I have just had this conversation with a content provider.

                          >On Tuesday, May 08, 2001 10:08 AM, Julian Bond wrote:
                          >| Do you produce an RSS file for syndication of headlines?
                          >| If you do, where is it?
                          >| If you don't, why not?
                          >| If you don't know what it is, look here http://www.blogspace.com/rss/
                          >Please excuse my ignorance. I checked the site, distinct concise reasons
                          >for why we should be offering RSS docs were not easily forthcoming and I
                          >ran out of time. Please send me a link to a dummies guide, I am interested
                          >but don't have time to trawl through RSS history looking for explanations
                          >of why RSS should prevail.

                          Here's another one from a site that outsources it's web development. I
                          think I hit the outsourcing company not the owners.
                          >No one has ever offered us money to produce one.

                          ISTM that an RSS FAQ aimed at content providers, with a clear
                          explanation of why and how they should produce an RSS file would be a
                          *good thing*[1]. It ought to present a clear business case as well as
                          the developer detail. All the explanations I've seen so far are squarely
                          aimed at programmers and don't make any sort of business case.

                          This particular guy is the webmaster for one of the titles at EMAP ("400
                          titles"). I'm still hopeful that I can convince him.

                          [1]I know the response is "well write one then", but I'm a little busy
                          right now... Perhaps a group effort?

                          --
                          Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                          HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                          WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                          WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                          M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                          ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time
                        • Jeff Barr
                          Julian says, ... Definitely! I was thinking about evangelizing syndication last night while walking past the offices of Deseret News in Salt Lake City (I m
                          Message 12 of 18 , May 9, 2001
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                            Julian says,

                            > ISTM that an RSS FAQ aimed at content providers, with a clear
                            > explanation of why and how they should produce an RSS file would be a
                            > *good thing*[1]. It ought to present a clear business case as well as
                            > the developer detail. All the explanations I've seen so far are squarely
                            > aimed at programmers and don't make any sort of business case.

                            Definitely! I was thinking about evangelizing syndication last night while
                            walking past the offices of "Deseret News" in Salt Lake City (I'm here for
                            the day). We need a nice FAQ-like document, one that we control, which makes
                            the business case first, and then proceeds to the details. This should be a
                            one or two pager.

                            The business case part should be pretty simple:

                            Q: Why should I syndicate my site's headlines.

                            A: Because an investment of just a few hours of development time will
                            bring your site's headlines to the world in such a way that your
                            site will get more traffic. There will be little, if any, continued
                            investment.

                            > [1]I know the response is "well write one then", but I'm a little busy
                            > right now... Perhaps a group effort?

                            We need a coordinator that can paste finished results into a master
                            document (it should be a single document for easy printing). And we
                            need an outline. The rest is easy. I'm in the "little busy" boat with
                            Julian. I can contribute, but I cannot coordinate right now.

                            Jeff;

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Julian Bond [mailto:julian@...]
                            Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 1:47 AM
                            To: syndication@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [syndication] Evangelizing RSS


                            I have just had this conversation with a content provider.

                            >On Tuesday, May 08, 2001 10:08 AM, Julian Bond wrote:
                            >| Do you produce an RSS file for syndication of headlines?
                            >| If you do, where is it?
                            >| If you don't, why not?
                            >| If you don't know what it is, look here http://www.blogspace.com/rss/
                            >Please excuse my ignorance. I checked the site, distinct concise reasons
                            >for why we should be offering RSS docs were not easily forthcoming and I
                            >ran out of time. Please send me a link to a dummies guide, I am interested
                            >but don't have time to trawl through RSS history looking for explanations
                            >of why RSS should prevail.

                            Here's another one from a site that outsources it's web development. I
                            think I hit the outsourcing company not the owners.
                            >No one has ever offered us money to produce one.

                            ISTM that an RSS FAQ aimed at content providers, with a clear
                            explanation of why and how they should produce an RSS file would be a
                            *good thing*[1]. It ought to present a clear business case as well as
                            the developer detail. All the explanations I've seen so far are squarely
                            aimed at programmers and don't make any sort of business case.

                            This particular guy is the webmaster for one of the titles at EMAP ("400
                            titles"). I'm still hopeful that I can convince him.

                            [1]I know the response is "well write one then", but I'm a little busy
                            right now... Perhaps a group effort?

                            --
                            Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                            HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                            WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                            WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                            M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                            ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time



                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Dave Winer
                            Jeff, what is RSS? Dave ... From: Jeff Barr To: Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 5:46 AM Subject: RE:
                            Message 13 of 18 , May 9, 2001
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                              Jeff, what is RSS?

                              Dave


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "Jeff Barr" <jeff@...>
                              To: <syndication@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 5:46 AM
                              Subject: RE: [syndication] Evangelizing RSS


                              > Julian says,
                              >
                              > > ISTM that an RSS FAQ aimed at content providers, with a clear
                              > > explanation of why and how they should produce an RSS file would be a
                              > > *good thing*[1]. It ought to present a clear business case as well as
                              > > the developer detail. All the explanations I've seen so far are squarely
                              > > aimed at programmers and don't make any sort of business case.
                              >
                              > Definitely! I was thinking about evangelizing syndication last night while
                              > walking past the offices of "Deseret News" in Salt Lake City (I'm here for
                              > the day). We need a nice FAQ-like document, one that we control, which
                              makes
                              > the business case first, and then proceeds to the details. This should be
                              a
                              > one or two pager.
                              >
                              > The business case part should be pretty simple:
                              >
                              > Q: Why should I syndicate my site's headlines.
                              >
                              > A: Because an investment of just a few hours of development time will
                              > bring your site's headlines to the world in such a way that your
                              > site will get more traffic. There will be little, if any, continued
                              > investment.
                              >
                              > > [1]I know the response is "well write one then", but I'm a little busy
                              > > right now... Perhaps a group effort?
                              >
                              > We need a coordinator that can paste finished results into a master
                              > document (it should be a single document for easy printing). And we
                              > need an outline. The rest is easy. I'm in the "little busy" boat with
                              > Julian. I can contribute, but I cannot coordinate right now.
                              >
                              > Jeff;
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: Julian Bond [mailto:julian@...]
                              > Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 1:47 AM
                              > To: syndication@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: [syndication] Evangelizing RSS
                              >
                              >
                              > I have just had this conversation with a content provider.
                              >
                              > >On Tuesday, May 08, 2001 10:08 AM, Julian Bond wrote:
                              > >| Do you produce an RSS file for syndication of headlines?
                              > >| If you do, where is it?
                              > >| If you don't, why not?
                              > >| If you don't know what it is, look here http://www.blogspace.com/rss/
                              > >Please excuse my ignorance. I checked the site, distinct concise reasons
                              > >for why we should be offering RSS docs were not easily forthcoming and I
                              > >ran out of time. Please send me a link to a dummies guide, I am
                              interested
                              > >but don't have time to trawl through RSS history looking for explanations
                              > >of why RSS should prevail.
                              >
                              > Here's another one from a site that outsources it's web development. I
                              > think I hit the outsourcing company not the owners.
                              > >No one has ever offered us money to produce one.
                              >
                              > ISTM that an RSS FAQ aimed at content providers, with a clear
                              > explanation of why and how they should produce an RSS file would be a
                              > *good thing*[1]. It ought to present a clear business case as well as
                              > the developer detail. All the explanations I've seen so far are squarely
                              > aimed at programmers and don't make any sort of business case.
                              >
                              > This particular guy is the webmaster for one of the titles at EMAP ("400
                              > titles"). I'm still hopeful that I can convince him.
                              >
                              > [1]I know the response is "well write one then", but I'm a little busy
                              > right now... Perhaps a group effort?
                              >
                              > --
                              > Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                              > HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                              > WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                              > WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                              > M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                              > ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                            • Julian Bond
                              Sometime it helps to wait a day or two before hitting the send key. I shouldn t even have to say this, but I m not trying to be contentious here, I m trying to
                              Message 14 of 18 , May 12, 2001
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                                Sometime it helps to wait a day or two before hitting the send key. I
                                shouldn't even have to say this, but I'm not trying to be contentious
                                here, I'm trying to get some perspective.

                                I came to this late, long after the major work was done on defining rss.
                                I've read enough and done enough research to understand some of the
                                sources of the discontent, but I really wonder what all the fuss is
                                about. From where I'm standing, rss looks like a major success. I don't
                                have figures to back it up, but I suspect it's *the* most successful XML
                                format in terms of implementations. Anyone care to guess how many Mb of
                                rss data are created every day?

                                The competing standards are close enough that from the point of view of
                                a consumer of rss, or a programmer parsing the data, the differences are
                                a small pain but really not hard.

                                So without further ado. And in order from the ridiculous to the
                                sensible.

                                Q: What is RSS?

                                1: It's a set of three letters that seem to create tension between
                                people whenever they're mentioned.

                                2: It's a name not an acronym. At least no one acronym. At various
                                times, it has been converted into an acronym meaning Rich Site Summary,
                                Really Simple Syndication or something else entirely.

                                3: It's one of several XML formats that Userland use to transport
                                information around various parts of the Userland cloud. Despite (or
                                perhaps, because of) their involvement in the development of several of
                                the rss variants, their use of rss is subtly different to everyone
                                else's. But the differences are so small as to be effectively irrelevant
                                and the Userland sites are a major source of information in rss format.

                                4: It's a name for a loose collection of related but subtly different
                                and competing standards using XML. The standards are simple enough that
                                it's easy to create the files either with code or by hand. They
                                are also close enough that it's fairly trivial to write code that can
                                read the data from any of them and do something useful with it. The
                                standards are designed to allow a content generation website to
                                syndicate its headlines to other websites in a simple, and easy to
                                create form. Inevitably, inventive people have thought of many other
                                sources and uses.

                                It's hard to tell how many websites publish an RSS file but estimates
                                suggest there are now >4000 publically accessible rss feeds on the
                                internet. Manila and most of the "Slash" codesets like Scoop,
                                PHP-Nuke and Drupal generate rss by default. In addition, there are
                                several efforts round the web to convert existing websites into an rss
                                feed with or without the approval of the website owners. All this
                                suggests that the actual figure may be much higher. On the commercial
                                and semi-commercial side, Moreover, 10.am and others are collecting
                                headline data from mostly commercial sites, categorizing it and then re-
                                publishing it as rss, among other formats.

                                5. But above all, rss is really simple, simon. I bet if you stripped the
                                descriptions to the bone, you could fit all the variants on a single
                                sheet of A4. Even a pretty poor programmer, such as myself, can extract
                                the data from rss with a few string functions and generate it with a few
                                more.

                                This is it's greatest strength.

                                -----------------------------------------------------------------
                                So what to do?

                                Well, if you manage a website, generate an rss file. Pick a format and
                                just do it, by hand if you have to. My preference would be for 0.92 but
                                if you prefer rdf, use 1.0. I don't care. And then make sure it's
                                obvious on your site where it is.

                                For my uses, I keep wanting to pick up rss from sites that don't
                                currently produce it. So I hassle the webmaster. It doesn't always work,
                                but sometimes it does. I suggest you do the same.

                                --
                                Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                                HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                                WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                                WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                                M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                                ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time
                              • Dave Winer
                                Right on Julian. I m glad you had the courage to hit the Send key. My main question, beyond what you ve covered here, is how to evolve. Based on other uses of
                                Message 15 of 18 , May 12, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Right on Julian. I'm glad you had the courage to hit the Send key.

                                  My main question, beyond what you've covered here, is how to evolve.

                                  Based on other uses of version numbering in software, one would reasonably
                                  conclude that 1.0 came after 0.92, but that's not true. And what of future
                                  versions? And what if RSS starts getting press? Or would it already *be*
                                  getting press if it were not for the confusion?

                                  Perhaps you have some ideas about this as well.

                                  Dave

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Julian Bond" <julian@...>
                                  To: <syndication@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2001 12:47 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [syndication] Evangelizing RSS


                                  > Sometime it helps to wait a day or two before hitting the send key. I
                                  > shouldn't even have to say this, but I'm not trying to be contentious
                                  > here, I'm trying to get some perspective.
                                  >
                                  > I came to this late, long after the major work was done on defining rss.
                                  > I've read enough and done enough research to understand some of the
                                  > sources of the discontent, but I really wonder what all the fuss is
                                  > about. From where I'm standing, rss looks like a major success. I don't
                                  > have figures to back it up, but I suspect it's *the* most successful XML
                                  > format in terms of implementations. Anyone care to guess how many Mb of
                                  > rss data are created every day?
                                  >
                                  > The competing standards are close enough that from the point of view of
                                  > a consumer of rss, or a programmer parsing the data, the differences are
                                  > a small pain but really not hard.
                                  >
                                  > So without further ado. And in order from the ridiculous to the
                                  > sensible.
                                  >
                                  > Q: What is RSS?
                                  >
                                  > 1: It's a set of three letters that seem to create tension between
                                  > people whenever they're mentioned.
                                  >
                                  > 2: It's a name not an acronym. At least no one acronym. At various
                                  > times, it has been converted into an acronym meaning Rich Site Summary,
                                  > Really Simple Syndication or something else entirely.
                                  >
                                  > 3: It's one of several XML formats that Userland use to transport
                                  > information around various parts of the Userland cloud. Despite (or
                                  > perhaps, because of) their involvement in the development of several of
                                  > the rss variants, their use of rss is subtly different to everyone
                                  > else's. But the differences are so small as to be effectively irrelevant
                                  > and the Userland sites are a major source of information in rss format.
                                  >
                                  > 4: It's a name for a loose collection of related but subtly different
                                  > and competing standards using XML. The standards are simple enough that
                                  > it's easy to create the files either with code or by hand. They
                                  > are also close enough that it's fairly trivial to write code that can
                                  > read the data from any of them and do something useful with it. The
                                  > standards are designed to allow a content generation website to
                                  > syndicate its headlines to other websites in a simple, and easy to
                                  > create form. Inevitably, inventive people have thought of many other
                                  > sources and uses.
                                  >
                                  > It's hard to tell how many websites publish an RSS file but estimates
                                  > suggest there are now >4000 publically accessible rss feeds on the
                                  > internet. Manila and most of the "Slash" codesets like Scoop,
                                  > PHP-Nuke and Drupal generate rss by default. In addition, there are
                                  > several efforts round the web to convert existing websites into an rss
                                  > feed with or without the approval of the website owners. All this
                                  > suggests that the actual figure may be much higher. On the commercial
                                  > and semi-commercial side, Moreover, 10.am and others are collecting
                                  > headline data from mostly commercial sites, categorizing it and then re-
                                  > publishing it as rss, among other formats.
                                  >
                                  > 5. But above all, rss is really simple, simon. I bet if you stripped the
                                  > descriptions to the bone, you could fit all the variants on a single
                                  > sheet of A4. Even a pretty poor programmer, such as myself, can extract
                                  > the data from rss with a few string functions and generate it with a few
                                  > more.
                                  >
                                  > This is it's greatest strength.
                                  >
                                  > -----------------------------------------------------------------
                                  > So what to do?
                                  >
                                  > Well, if you manage a website, generate an rss file. Pick a format and
                                  > just do it, by hand if you have to. My preference would be for 0.92 but
                                  > if you prefer rdf, use 1.0. I don't care. And then make sure it's
                                  > obvious on your site where it is.
                                  >
                                  > For my uses, I keep wanting to pick up rss from sites that don't
                                  > currently produce it. So I hassle the webmaster. It doesn't always work,
                                  > but sometimes it does. I suggest you do the same.
                                  >
                                  > --
                                  > Julian Bond eMail: julian@...
                                  > HomeURL: http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/
                                  > WorkURL: http://www.netmarketseurope.com/
                                  > WebLog: http://roguemoon.manilasites.com/
                                  > M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)20 7420 4363
                                  > ICQ:33679668 tag:So many words, so little time
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
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