RSS is a Transient Representation of Permanent Content

RSS was developed to support the syndication of existing content. Unlike email, its relationship to permanent content allows us to:

  • Throw it away: because you’re just deleting your local pointer to permanent content elsewhere. I keep years of email archived - because the discussions in those archives no longer exist anywhere else. When I finally delete those email archives, those discussions will be gone forever.
  • Find it when you need it: because the search engines have indexed it at the original location. If it’s important, then the search engines will find it. And if the search engines can’t find it, then it probably wasn’t really that important.
  • Share it: because it’s disseminated content. You may be able to find information in your email archives. But will you open your email archives up to your colleagues?

Of course, RSS doesn’t have to point to permanent content. But are you willing to give all that up?

Part of a series inspired by my contribution to Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS.