June 29, 2003 | Category:

Fresh Syndication

For the past week or two, the weblogging community has been working on the conceptual elements that make up a well-formed entry for a website (parts that are necessary, and additional elements). Out of this has come the beginning of a new syndication format and editing API.

The reasons for creating a new format have been discussed elsewhere, with many important people are supporting its creation. We’ve got some very smart people working on it full time (a big well done to IBM for seeing the value in this project and letting Sam focus on it), and we have a constantly updated wiki for adding to the project. There are literally hundreds of people contributing to it, some a little, some a lot.

What is missing though is a name, a syntax and some real value. The name and syntax are in the middle of being decided on (nothing great so far, and I can only hope that Shelley‘s suggestion of Pubs is not used). What we really need is added value.

While I can see the wisdom in not inventing anything new, I doubt that a lot of users will. If they have no motivation to use a new format then what makes anyone think that they’ll change. RSS is a widespread format these days and it’ll take more than just being very specific in the specification to actually get people to use it.

Personally, I’ll be setting up a fed as soon as a stable specification is available (I’ve helped mould the project, I might as well use it), but I wonder if others will.