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What on Earth is RSS..?

I'm beginning to discover that publishing this Weblog to RSS isn't as easy as I might first have thought. I'm not really clear how I get this site to publish but with luck, I'll work it out!

Trouble is that if like me, you happen to be technically inept, then ‘Help’ files aren’t enough.



Of course, if I had the time, I’m sure I could work it out but ‘Blogging’ is an interest and doesn’t pay the bills and my small daughter has a compulsive 'Beanie Babe' habit, so I rely on the technology being advanced enough to be invisible, which in this case it isn’t. This leaves my trying to resist the temptation to learn about something new, in this case XML and RSS, which has already chewed-up the time I should have spent writing my Computer Weekly column this afternoon.

Having installed VertexDev’s ‘Headline Viewer’ I’m fascinated by all the RSS news it aggregates, both from magazine sites and from Web journals. Having started in the nineties with Internet News groups and then IRC Relay Chat, this is certainly a great way of picking-up ‘informed’ information and opinion in a totally new way. I only wish that I could get this site working properly!

One comes across the strangest ‘Blogs’ though; all life is here of course, from the abstract and sordid to the strange and intellectually unique. With the publishing business in a spiralling decline, I’m wondering what the future will hold as more and more people, like me publish their thoughts and ideas directly, bypassing the conventional news media, which, focused as it is on an increasingly narrow agenda, often isn’t interested in what one has to say or as one friend from a ‘National’ told me, “The new editor doesn’t like technology stories much”.

Great minds allegedly think alike and I just stumbled on another perspective on the same story. In his own Blog. Alan Mather writes:

"Chris Gulker (another long time blogger) pointed out yesterday in an assessment of blogging versus journalism. He notes that blogs succeed "in Darwinian fashion, by drawing readers in and back again. They do this by being interesting, and believable even though they lack the credibility and marketing budgets of big-brand media" but cautions against those who "just shoot from the hip". Another article, in Wired, adds further to this angle noting some of the stories that were broken (or pursued ardently) via Blogs ... but also notes that many bloggers are merely "navel-gazers". Meanwhile, Blogger (the people who manage the software that produces this blog) have just under 1,000,000 users"!

I guess then, the future holds little in the way of hope for starving journalists and great promise for a few talented Bloggers...!



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