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Facebook and subscriptions
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 at 1:29 PM.

A few people sent me a pointer to an announcement of a new Facebook push to get publications to come inside their silo. This isn't imho news. They've been working on this for a long time. It was easy to see its size and shape based on the actions they were taking. Expect a lot of announcements from major news vendors that are participating. It's probably going to be all of them, and probably governments and educational institutions as well. I don't see this as a bad thing. It could be a very good thing, esp if more people are better informed as a result. #

A picture named loverss.jpgPeople say they don't like that they're using what has become RSS trade dress. I don't have a strong opinion about this, at least not yet. It seems to me if what they provide works like RSS does, why shouldn't they use what has become a well-known symbol for it? Because their subscription process is sure to be a lot easier than RSS's? Maybe instead of stopping them, we should work on improving RSS's way of subscribing. Their advantage isn't technical, it's that people in the publishing industry are listening to them and doing what they want them to do. They could just as easily listen to someone who is doing it all with open formats and protocols. It's a political problem, not a technical one. #

I have no standing to ask them not to use the icons. I didn't design them, and I didn't even want them. It was a fragmentation of the RSS community at the time. It's there because Mozilla blazed a new trail and Microsoft went with them, and not the default that everyone else was using. I asked them not to do it, but they didn't do what I asked them to do. #

The answer isn't to stop Facebook, even if you could. The correct response is to use this impetus to get an open solution organized and developed asap so we're not all dependent on Facebook to get the news to people who want to read it. If you think you can publish a news source with integrity in that context -- you can't.  #

So this is a good time to think and communicate, and then quickly, do. #

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