Really Simple Syndication

A reader pointed out that our two RSS feeds were slightly stale, so we just fixed that in our “first project of the Xmas break”. RSS inclusion in Rands In Repose is merely a by-product of using Movabletype… if I was maintain the site by hand (HURRRRRRRR), I probably wouldn’t have the RSS feeds because I don’t see the value.

RSS is one of those technologies that I get (ie: structured syndication of news), but don’t actually use (ie: I surf the web for my news and I enjoy that I surf the web for news). Now, Pants is going to yell at me now because he’s got Perl doing all sorts of fascinating things with RSS, but HE’S THE TOOL GUY AND I DO CONTENT OK? OK SO WE BOTH DO CONTENT.

Using my poorly formed train metaphor, I’d been sitting in the middle car with regard to RSS, sitting comfortably with my ignorance while Netscape, Dave Winer, and others champion the definition and redefinition of the specification. This is pretty much standard operating procedure for me… hang out in the middle car watching the guys in the first car wrangle through the horrible difficulties of thinking different and when it starts to smell like they’ve won, I jump to the first car, “HEY GANG – THIS IS COOL STUFF – LET’S GET STARTED CHANGING THE WORLD.”

Generally speaking, I make the jump before THOSE FOLKS IN IOWA care about the technology/product, so I still look like thought leader while not having to endure the public floggings necessary to develop a new standard. The exception to this wait-and-see tactic is if I work for the COMPANY/PEOPLE who are developing the standard. In this case, I am in the front car, serving high balls, and YELLING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS, “HEY YOU IOWA TWITS! WE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD HERE WHILE YOU’RE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT AOL.”

I jumped to the front car this morning regarding RSS because, first, I’m reading lots of weblogs these days and it’s quite annoying to have to check twenty seven sites to only find four have been updated. I’ve stopped adding weblogs to my list because of this and THAT IS DUMB. Second, several Windows and Mac OS X based newsreaders/feedreaders have crossed my desk in the past month or so indicating such tools are making the jump from the front car to the middle car.

So, the questions are: Are you using RSS right now? If so, how? Second, are you using a newsreader right now? If so, which one?

p.s. Happy Merry!

5 Responses

  1. Harry 22 years ago

    I don’t use RSS. I don’t see a need for it, but if someone would kindly explain the reasons why it rocks I may reconsider.

    I’m using MT-NewsWatcher for Mac OS X. Always has been my favourite. It’s full-featured, simple and FREE.

  2. I’ve got a LiveJournal – and fairly recently it’s been able to export and read RSS feeds. There’s now a “syndication account” feature. I actually created for RiR. http// I tried Jerkcity but it dosen’t seem to like the RSS. It’s all blank: (hintprojecthint)

    I don’t use it for big sites like Slashdot, Freshmeat, etc. Those would engulf my entire friends list so I simply browse to them. But for weblogs that aren’t updated as often (yours, sweetcode, memepool) it’s a godsend. Everything appears on my “friends list” when it’s updated.

    There’s a handy list of what’s already syndicated: Unfortunately you have to be logged in to view it.

    Notable is the point system they use, here’s a quote from the syndication page:

    “All users have a quota for how many feeds they can befriend, based on account type. Befriending a syndicated account costs a variable amount, depending on the popularity of the feed. Popular feeds cost less, as the expense of the system maintaining the feed is shared by all the watchers. If you’re the sole watcher of a feed, it costs 1 unit. If there are 5 people, it costs a half unit. At 25 people, one third of a unit, and so on…”

    Probably way more than you needed to know. But I wanted to point out there’s now a whole new base of people (From LJ and other sites running LJ code) who’ll be potentially acessing RSS feeds, since it’s as easy as them “adding a friend.” Most probalby won’t even know what the hell RSS is, I wager….

  3. M. Hutchence 22 years ago

    Wait how will RSS ever become popular if you can’t have huge graphic advertisements with it??


    in the flood 3 people gathered on the roof of a house, waiting for rescue, the first didnt think there was hope and jumped to there death in the water, the second waited a while but tried to swim to higher round and was never seen again, the 3rd who waited and kept faith was eventually rescued by the state…

    there once was a poor merchant who sold his only son to buy food. time passed and the merchant became rich but longed for his son, by chance one day the merchant recognised one of the slaves that was contracted to remove household waste, it was his son. the merchant was very wealthy but very old and wanted to gift his estate to his son, so devised a plan, he asked to asked servents to bring him for a visit and they brought him, kicking and scraming to his audience, the man asked him to work in the household as a cleaner and he watched his son work and sleep, in the slave quaters outside, onw day when he felt he would pass, he summoned the boy and revealed himself as his father and explained that because of his humility and hard work he would inherit the vast estate, and before the king he was proclaimed aire, the son still lived in the slave quaters and didnt touch the estate and benifited many…

  5. NetNewsWire Pro 1.0b3 with about 120 feeds. Yours is in there now.