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RE: [syndication] Evangelizing RSS

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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