Feeling So Really Simple Syndication
This week we take a look at the origin, status, and future of syndication.
Before we get into the origin, status, and future of RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Atom it’s time for a quick work update. Oddly enough, there is a connection.
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First, I shared my hashtag laden work update on LinkedIn.1 Next, I then shared my simple rebus and link work update on Twitter2 — but my POSSE methodology will reclaim what has been shared at some point.
RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has existed for at least two decades — and Atom isn’t far behind — as a way to subscribe to articles you want to read before the days of keeping dozens of browser tabs open per website. Yet, the design goals of RSS/Atom appear to increasingly run counter to a growing deep web, silo content destinations, and monetization of the attention economy.
When the topic of RSS/Atom comes up, for older generations of World Wide Web users there are often nostalgic callback moments. For example, the belief that the rise and eventual end of life for products like Google Reader was the first of many examples of “why we can’t have nice things” on the Interwebs after the .com era.
Set it up DJ 🎶
Me? I really liked Google Reader. In fact, I took some screenshots of Google Reader, hosted them on services like Flickr as a sort of visual blog about each new enhancement.
Take me away 🎶
The timeline of RSS/Atom feeds handling shows tension even now and likely for the future.
1999: Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification is published
2005: Google Reader launched by Google Labs
2007: Google Search demotes use of RSS/Atom feeds
2009: Google Search promotes use of RSS/Atom feeds
2010: New York Times asserts rights over use of their own RSS feeds
2012: Google Adsense for (RSS/Atom) Feeds is retired
2013: Google Reader is retired
(several years of blog post lamentations and… a miracle occurs?)
That said, in the future, I believe that syndication will enjoy a renaissance moment as WebSub and similar Event Hub approaches take on consumer web, creator web, and future web considerations. Perhaps, even future career work updates will be syndicated too.
Until next time… Place your bets…
In future newsletter posts I’ll be including just some of the amazing content I’m fortunate to be able to share in this format. For now, be sure to register for this upcoming panel ”Do you really have a DevOps culture?” at the end of the month.
I am linking to my disclosure.