Feeding frenzy

by coelomic

RSS is all the craze now and we have the unified icon to boot. Available in a variety of flavours as choices are good. RSS and ATOM are the ones available now.

Colin D Devroe called for a unified definition of RSS feeds while lambasting Wikipedia for providing a misleading description to novices. Having thought about it, RSS maybe defined as :

“A method off informing the reader of changes to a webpage without actually having to visit the site.Weblogs and news websites are common sources for web feeds, but feeds are also used to deliver structured information ranging from weather data to ”top ten“ lists of hit tunes.”

If you would like to see Wikipedia’s definition then here it is:

“A web feed is a document (often XML-based) which contains content items, often summaries of stories or weblog posts with web links to longer versions. Weblogs and news websites are common sources for web feeds, but feeds are also used to deliver structured information ranging from weather data to ”top ten“ lists of hit tunes. While RSS feed is by far the most common term, the generic ”web feed“ terminology is sometimes used by writers hoping to make the concept clear to novice users, and by advocates of other feed formats.” — Wikipedia.org

What I dont like about this definition is this bit here, “A web feed is a document (often XML-based) which contains content items, often summaries of stories or weblog posts with web links to longer versions”. It looks like I am not the only one, and rightly so as it is a matter of great consternation to me that a good few bloggers use this technology to their own selfish end. If Really Simple Syndication was all about making it easy for faithful readers to access content without wasting time accessing the website, then why would would you want to introduce a further step into the process by just providing a teaser. It’s non(ad)sense.

Its probably the argument that the blogger values the readers’ time so much that he doesn’t want them to waste time reading content that would not interest them and hence they don’t have to follow the teaser to the site. well they would not have subscribed to the feed if it was the odd interesting link, duh!, atleast I don’t anyway.

If you want a faithful following then full text feeds are a must, period. We need more people doing this so that this stops. Another thing I like about RSS is that it goads bloggers to come up with relevant and good material, and if thats not the case then all it requires one click on the unsubscribe button and poof! Democracy at the touch of a button via RSS.

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