Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ The Politics of RSS

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
I don't want to minimize the problems in RSS outlined here by Mark Oehlert (though I will point out that that the problems he describes, framing and spamming, are as old as the internet) but from where I sit they stem more from a misunderstanding of RSS than of any fundamental issue that needs to be fixed. They do not effect me at all, because I have never thought of the feed as some sort of 'broadcast' intended to capture 'market share' which would eventually be 'monetized'. The only thing reading these machine-generated feeds is other machines, and if the owner of one machine is silly enough to pay the owner of another machine for the privilege, that does not change my life, nor am I foolish enough to thing this is any sense revenue lost. The value of the feed is in the connection between me, the writer, and you, the reader (and vice versa, because it's always better when readers become writers) and these machine feeds do not interfere with that nor enter it in any way. They are completely outside the network, and there's no way for them to enter without our permission.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 13, 2024 12:00 a.m.

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