Thursday, December 23, 2004

Webfeeds and ease of use

Rich Gordon says using webfeeds is still too difficult for most:
    Talking to novices about webfeeds is like trying to explain the World Wide Web in 1995 to someone who'd never used a browser. But as soon as browser software became easily accessible and there was good content to view through it, the significance of the Web became clear to most everyone.

    Because the Web (and XML) already existed when RSS was invented, it was relatively easy to generate webfeeds with interesting content. But we're still waiting for the equivalent of the first Netscape browser -- the software that makes ordinary consumers ... go, "Aha. I get it."
It's not at all clear to me that ordinary users want to know what a webfeed is. They just want news. They want their news to be quick to access, easy to read, and relevant to their lives.

Focusing on webfeeds confuses the tool with the goal. Webfeeds are a means to an end, not the end itself.

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