Thinking Visually: RSS Logo?

Words are not all there is to communication. Well-crafted images – such as logos – can instantly convey important concepts, tone, or context. While I’ve been hacking away at the terminology end of the challenge of explaining RSS feeds (with my nickname contest, which ends this Sunday), CONTENTIOUS reader Antone Roundy is tackling the visuals.

Roundy has started a weblog called Info Bite List which discusses various issues about RSS feeds and which also encourages people to vote in my contest for the nickname he entered, Info Bite List. On Feb. 19, Roundy designed a simple but, in my opinion, effective little logo that conveys the RSS feed concept. It’s five blue balls that appear to stream out of the distance.

The small version of the logo looks like this: Roundy's small RSS icon

Here’s the large version: Roundy's large RSS icon

Here’s how Roundy describes this logo…

“The five balls in the logo represent five bites of information. They are arranged to represent a stream of information flowing to you across the internet. The diffused look of the balls in the large logo represents the fact that the format doesn’t define the type of content contained in each bite of information – that is left up to the publisher to decide. Also, the little dots ‘orbiting’ around each ball represent pieces of information related to the info bite, to which it is linked.”

I’ve gotta admit, I like Roundy’s logo concept! (Even though “Info Bite List” wasn’t one of my personal favorites entered into the contest, but that’s just my own taste.)

Roundy, an RSS developer, has also developed a new XML-based feed format which he calls “Info Bite List.” Other RSS developers might want to check this out. Plus, he’s written some intriguing thoughts on the concept of online syndication through RSS-style channels: “One name for talking about all formats.” Personally, that’s where I think something like my contest’s nickname might do the most good, provided the winning nickname does not try to emulate the term “RSS” or confine itself to the Web, because technology and channels do evolve.

Anyway, I appreciate Roundy’s spirit and initiative. If you’re intrigued by “Info Bite List” as a possible nickname for “RSS Feed,” here’s the entry where Roundy lobbies for his nickname entry. (Again, you can vote here, Through Feb. 29.)

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