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RSS is dead? My ass... Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named spiderman.gifI've been programming like a bat out of hell, in one of my most hectic spurts of creativity in a very long time. Not much time for blogging.

One of the results is a site where you can view the tweets of the 100 most-followed people and corporations on Twitter. These really reflect the friendships and choices of Twitter the company, pretty sure they're all on the SUL. But they're using Twitter, and it's fascinating to see how. Esp to see this as a benchmark, a beginning. What will the tweeting of the top 100 look like in a year? Already you can see it's very competitive.

It's coool. There's a lot more coming, if any of the other stuff I'm working on reaches fruition.

I'm singing a happy song! I love the work I'm doing.

I'm thinking of Mick Jagger and the band, warming up, and some drunken asshole is yelling at him from the audience. Jagger says, in his inimitable Jagger style: "Everything okay up there in the critics section?" And then they swing into a great rock and roll song, which I could remember which one.

A picture named loverss.gifSteve Gillmor, writing in TechCrunch says RSS is dead. He has a nice picture of the Beatles in what must be their last year as a group. RSS ain't like the Beatles, Steve, it's more like the Stones. Rough and passionate. And still with us after all these years.

As I said in the comments on Steve's post, with some irony, RSS is as dead as HTTP and SMTP, which is to say it's alive and kicking. These protocols get widely implemented, are so deeply ingrained in the infrastructure they become part of the fabric of the Internet. They don't die, they don't rest in piece. They become the foundation for everything that follows.

When you reboot your computer, whether it's a Mac or Linux machine or Windows box or netbook, probably even your cellphone, they all first load some ancient code written in the 70s by some guy no one remembers. That's the way software works.

A picture named chuckBerry.jpgMick Jagger didn't say Muddy Waters or Chuck Berry are dead. He loved those guys. Their work lived on in his music, and he was good to them. It's time for the tech biz to learn about love, Steve. Open your heart and sing happy birthday to RSS. It's been very good to you. You should be good to RSS, though god knows most of the icons of tech have been really unappreciative at the gifts RSS brought them. It's really sad what grumpy pissy jerks these guys are.

There are bursts of inspiration with wide open fields in front of you, huge memory spaces, and then things get crowded and we move on, looking for new frontiers to explore. The early years of the web, the early-mid 90s were like that. It was in that environment that RSS sprouted, after a few failed attempts with too much hype. I feel like we're there again, and it's not like the 70s, it's like the 30s. The film industry of today is still refining the art that was invented in that period as the next decades will be spent building and revising that which was defined in the last few decades.

That's why I love Joan Crawford, btw -- she's one of the very few stars of the silent era to blossom in the talkies. You can see her in this clip from The Hollywood Revue of 1929, along with many of the stars who didn't make the transition. Can you see the charm in the young Joan Crawford, and why it worked so well in both the new and old media?

PS: Just got a funny DM from Anil Dash. He says: "Just call their bluff! Anybody who thinks RSS is dead should stop publishing their feeds or shut up. Easy!" Hmmm. That's a good point. ;->


Last update: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 7:56 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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