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DNS for RSS feeds

Sunday, September 20, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Here is a Unix shell command that gets the address of my RSS feed: dig +short davewiner.supercloud.org TXT Permalink to this paragraph

It makes a DNS call to get the TXT record associated with davewiner.supercloud.org. That's different from an A record or a CNAME record. TXT records are used for things like this. That's why when you go there in your browser it doesn't go anywhere.  Permalink to this paragraph

I have an app up for you all to try out, so you can have a supercloud.org domain for your RSS feed (it works equally well for Atom, or anything that can be parsed as XML). Permalink to this paragraph

http://dns.rsscloud.org/ Permalink to this paragraph

Enter your Twitter username and password and the URL of your feed. It verifies that it is the correct password. (And it doesn't store it or use it for any other purpose.) And then if everything goes well, your username will map to a supercloud.org domain and point to your feed. Permalink to this paragraph

This is of course not rocket science. Permalink to this paragraph

But it does seem to work. A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

PS: Why this is interesting, possibly, is that it may give us a way to shorten URLs and make them more flexible if we want to build a loosely-coupled Twitter-like network with feeds distributed around the net. DNS is the little bit of centralization that the Internet, itself a loosely-coupled network, is built on. Permalink to this paragraph

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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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