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An RSS Rant (i.e. stop being childish)

I’m not sure if you’ve been following the Pilgrim/Winer relationship over the past week. If you haven’t, great!…if you have, my sympathies. Over the last year, “the innovators” (aka a-list bloggers) have demonstrated an amazing level of immaturity. Initially, it was the RDF vs. RSS (it goes back prior to RSS 2.0 – see this history) debate, which fractured the syndication protocol for content sharing. Bad blood all around. The elite of the blogosphere reduced themselves to a schoolyard of bullies – arguing, but achieving nothing productive (debate can be very healthy if it leads to something other than more debating).

Now the attention has shifted to the Echo (or whatever the name is today) project (more here). The issue is now more about name calling than debating.. It’s way off topic.

I love RSS…but it’s being killed by egos. Just as it is on the point of breakout (or tipping)…it’s imploding under the weight of the very people who’ve helped make it popular. Here’s a news flash: like every relationship gone sour, it’s not just one person…i.e. it’s not just Mark or Dave that’s at fault.

In sports, there’s a statement to the effect of “they didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves”. Well, AOL’s announcement to offer blogging services (and the anticipated entrance of Microsoft) will have a significant altering effect to the landscape. Right now, the innovators and early adopters reign. Add several million new bloggers (who couldn’t care less about the technical specs of RSS and the poisoned climate in which blogging’s biggest egos interact)…and the whole debate becomes irrelevant. AOL and Microsoft call the tunes. We dance. And, over the next several years as the smoke clears, the innovators can look at each other and honestly say: “They didn’t beat us…we beat ourselves”.