I’ve been following the ‘discussion’ a.k.a. mud-slinging for some time now. And sorry for mister Winer, but it’s everything against the name. Acronyms are fine, just as long as there’s something simple to back it up. A CD is a shiny silver disc that holds (expensive) music. A DVD is a shiny silver disc that holds video. ABS makes your braking safer, supposedly. A PC is something to run Windows on.
But let’s focus on RSS. Now, you tell me: Is it ‘Really Simple Syndication’, ‘Rich Site Summary’ or ‘RDF Site Summary’? This confussion has been going on for some years now. Although I might say the winning hand is on Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0 that is). But what does Syndication mean (to the general public)? So I can syndicate in a simple fashion … what? I can’t explain this to my father (60+).
I do however can explain to my father: “Hey, click on that orange button. See? It’s in your bookmarks. Now you can see what’s new over there, everytime you look. Neat? You are now ‘fed over the web’ with the latest news, weather forecasts, sea-levels, bingo-results, whatever. And you’ll have to do exactly nothing. Just look.”
And this is exactly why I think this is a non-discussion. RSS, RDF, Feeds, Webfeeds, Web Feeds, I personally don’t care what it’s called. I care what it does. There still isn’t a single way or application that makes it easy for John Doe to use feeds. I’ve always said that RSS/webfeeds will only break through if Microsoft will deliver a feedreader with the next Office installment. Or as it seems, that they will bake it in the OS. Untill then it will be geek-stuff only. (Did anyone see the reports?)
And I’m sorry mister Winer, Scoble and Dotzler, why don’t you agree on a single simple way to subscribe to feeds. Let’s call it Really Simple Subscription. And use, let’s say feed://subscribe.my.feed/. Just like everyone is used to http: and mailto: