Reedy Site Summary

I'm following the RSS auto-this and aggregate-that discussions, and it's all fascinating and sure to lead to some good blog browsing. But I'm not so sure what's so rich about rich site summary. RSS is essentially headlines, links, and text. It's ain't rich media. Heck, it's not even layout or visual design (don't get me started about auditory design). But as a standard it's taking off, and maybe we have to start somewhere.

When it comes to syndicating blogs, presentation might not make much difference for most. But for some it does. How much do we lose when we strip a blog down to RSS? I submit for your approval:

  1. Webseitz, who can intersperse weblog and wiki entries like nobody's business
  2. Harrumph, whose design is part of the story
  3. Textism, whose small caps and text figures would be trampled underfoot by insensitive, unthinking aggregators everywhere

And that's just layout, there's functionality lost as well: email php thingies and open-links-in-a-new-window javascript thingies. All lovingly handcrafted and left behind in the rush.

Why must Victor whine endlessly you ask? Why can't he just get back to [ insert favorite topic ]? I see a lot of momentum here I can't ignore. I think we're seeing the challenges of designing for web services, which I pondered recently. RSS might be the relatively tame and simple predecessor to Web Services Experience Language (WXSL) or its equivalent. For designers this could be another hump like 1994 with a long learning curve but also a wide horizon of possibilities.

Monday, June 10, 2002 | Permalink | Filed in Metadata


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