Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Steve Gillmor: RSS Anonymous

Steve Gillmor: RSS Anonymous "OK, here's the deal. My name is Steve Gillmor. I am an RSS addict. I have 4,624 unread items in NetNewsWire. Why so many? Because I have 400 separate feeds and some of them (the New York Times, Yahoo, Scobleizer) emit hundreds of items a day. Why so many unread? Because what I don't read won't get deleted. Why is that important?
What I really want is a persistent, controllable store of RSS data. Not just the abstract, or summary, data, but the full text and graphics, even scripting data, executables, and enclosures. Couple that with embedded browser rendering (Safari on the Mac) and add the ability to cache the Web pages of RSS feeds that don't support full-text.
Now add authoring system services with WYSIWYG features for dragging and dropping quotes, URLs, graphics and formatting. Safari doesn't support XML yet, but Mozilla does—and it's cross-platform. Here's where Jon Udell's vision suddenly crystallizes. If we have the full text, we can convert the HTML to XHTML and use XPath and XQuery to create whatever view is most appropriate to the consumer.
For me, the view that's most important is the one that reflects my interests—and the interests of those I consider most important. Some of that data already exists in NetNewsWire in an OPML file called MySubscriptions.xml—what RSS feeds I subscribe to, and in what order. The file could easily be augmented with additional data—what items I read, and in what order. Technorati's Dave Sifry calls just such an extension attention.xml."
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