Archive | December 9, 2005

Google innovates by rebranding RSS

From Slashdot: Gmail Gets RSS. Everyone with a UID and Paul Stamatiou writes “Google’s Gmail email service now sports a new feature for displaying RSS feeds, dubbed Web Clips. You might remember this name, as it is the same name Google Desktop refers to RSS feeds. Web Clips for Gmail were announced a long time ago sometime during the summer but they were finally stable enough to release to the general public. You can check out the what’s new page for Gmail here. Essentially, you subscribe to a bunch of feeds and everytime you log into Gmail it loads the lastest title from each feed which you can scroll through with left/right arrows. Don’t forget to check the actual post about Web Clips for Gmail on the Google Blog.”

Google is doing evil. Why rename RSS? It seems like the same hubris that haunts Microsoft: they believe their users are idiots who can’t handle a new term. Is RSS an obscure acronym that will cause the technology to be rejected? People didn’t have a problem with “TV” or “ATMs” or “SUVs” “FM” radio works just fine, even if you’re not sure what it stands for. “RADAR?” “LASER?” Seems OK to me. Call RSS what it is.

Yahoo! validates tagging with purchase of

At Joho the Blog, Dr. David Weinberger (author of the great “Small Pieces Loosely Joined”) reports: “Yahoo buys Delicious – Good all around. The fact that the most visited site on the Net has bought the premier tagging site should confirm that tagging is going mainstream. Yahoo has profoundly not screwed up Flickr, so I have confidence that users are not going to feel betrayed or de-featured by Yahoo. Most important, Yahoo is now in a position to become a tag broker, adding value to the act of tagging, thus driving more tagging, thus increasing the Web’s memetic value. With widespread tagging, the Web means more. Congratulations to Joshua Schachter and the rest of the Delicious folks.”

What’s the big deal with tags? Stay tuned. Tags could be the next big thing, the solution to everyone’s problem, the magic pixie dust of 2005 (as Shirky below says of java, ‘sprikle a little on your application and voila! you’re app is better’). Or it could turn out to be a good idea that never really meets its initial promise, failing to scale or failing to work. Time will tell, but so far it’s pretty promising.

Clay Shirky has a great presentation, well worth the listen, over at IT Conversations: “Ontology is overrated.”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.