Quick! Get Use out of RSS before the Vultures Ruin It

There are people who can look at a peaceful valley or serene mountain vista and only see how it can be exploited; they see only golf courses, shopping malls, and asphalt.

Likewise, there are those that can only look at a useful communications technology and only rub their hands in glee trying to figure out how to squeeze money from it. There was the glory of the web, and now we have non-stop pop-up ads. There was direct connections via email, and now we are littered by spam.

Next stop? The vultures are beginning to hover over RSS. Witness David Galbraith’s: “How to make RSS commercially viable”

RSS, or more generally, web based syndication, appears to be hitting critical mass, but where is the money?

Despite the promise of metadata enriched syndicated content, RSS is usually no more than a way to syndicate a link and a headline.

No large publisher will syndicate their full content in RSS because they would lose traffic and therefore, money.


They want to shove full content down your reader. They want to stuff RSS full of ads.

Galbraith proposes stripping RSS feeds of words such as “the”, “and”, “of” from feeds so all you get are a list of keywords and you must click to some site to get the content. I am strained to see how that is syndicating. We could even be more cryptic and reduce RSS feeds to the arcane abbreviations used in personal ads, e.g. “FRDT in srch 4 YT2GS”

It may be doom and gloom some time soon for RSS; watch for the shadows of the greedy vultures circling above your heads. Get some use out of RSS now while it is in its naive infancy.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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