|by Flemming Funch|
I'm excited about the possibilities in syndication of web content through open web standards. In part because I have a vision of creating better wiring for the global brain, and this stuff fits right in there.
In short, there are simple wide-spread protocols that make it possible for different websites to pick up content from each other, and to contribute to news feeds of various kinds.
In part what is cool is that the most workable schemes have been developed by small groups of creative people and have been adopted on a grassroots basis.
That is in clear distinction to the standards that international standards bodies come up with. They usually take a number of years to develop, and they're developed by committees who work hard to coordinate long lists of special interests, and the standards often end up being unnecessarily complex and dense.
So, people who just make something simple that is flexible and that works, and then spreads it around, are sort of heroes in my eyes. One of them is Dave Winer of UserLand Software. He is responsible for several of the protocols I'm talking about, and is also an evangelist for their use, and for continued creativity in terms of connecting all sorts of things together.
The protocols I'm talking about are specifically RSS and XML-RPC.
RSS is for creating news channels or feeds. These feeds can be picked up by programs people run on their desktop, or by news aggregators (e.g. NewsIsFree or Syndic8), or by other websites.
I just finished the features for optinally outputting RSS from your News Logs, and I also set it up for some of the things that appear on the NCN home page. There is a page explaining that.
That is only a slim beginning. Many things are possible. I'd like to see a widespread sharing of resources amongst many sites and networks. Resources such as event listings, websites, opportunities, needs, services, information, news items and more.