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Re: Evangelizing RSS

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 of 18 , May 12, 2001
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                    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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