RSS aggregation is push done right. Remember push? I wasted six months of my life, despite my better judgement and protestations, working on it.
Why does RSS look like a winner?
- It’s decentralized. You serve your own pages and don’t need anyone’s permission to do it.
- It’s HTML-based. You don’t have to worry about proprietary formats.
- It’s lightweight. No one is moving lots of graphics or attempting to “change the online (or desktop) experience”.
- It’s grassroots. One of the reasons for the explosion of interest in weblogs is that RSS aggregation makes it possible to for readers to scan sites for interesting items in the tenth of the time it would take to read the same sites in their browsers.
- It gives power to the reader. The premise of push was that publisher would have more control of your online experience. RSS aggregation makes it possible for the reader to control his own experience.
In other words, RSS aggregation (we need a better word for it) is everything that push was not.