NYT Thinks \”RSS\” is an Awkward Acronym

It’s been a while since I mentioned the whole nongeeky-nickname-for-RSS flap. It’s not dead yet! Here’s the latest salvo.

In his June 23 New York Times piece, What’s in a Product Name? columnist David Pogue observed:

“Some good technologies don’t even stand for something that people can agree on. RSS is a terrible name for a great technology; it can stand for either Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, and neither really tells you that it means subscribing to a Web site so you don’t have to check it for updates.”

This wasn’t the last word on the matter…

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Journalism\’s Blind Spot

I’ve been reading, and regularly commenting on, the new Business Week blog Blogspotting, by Stephen Baker and Heather Green. So far, it’s pretty interesting.

Yesterday, Baker posted this short item: Mainstream press barely mentions blogs. Here, he notices one aspect of the same blind spot I’ve been seeing. Mainstream media (MSM) professionals generally seem unaware of blogs – or their knowledge extends only to limited, uninformed cliches. Why this profound lack of curiousity?

I took a stab at the bigger picture in the following comment…

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Today: Messages from Afar…

I was so happy this morning to read in the news, and then on NASA’s site, that the European Space Agency probe Huygens has landed on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. Wow! When I first learned of the technical difficulty of that mission, I figured that there was no way they’d pull it off. I am very, very impressed.

About an hour from the time I’m writing this, ESA should start receiving data from Huygens via the Cassini probe, which is orbiting Saturn. Talk about a long-distance call…

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Bizarre Grab Bag

Just for fun, here is some miscellaneous cool weird stuff that’s caught my interest lately…

TOP OF THIS LIST: Letters from Bad Santa. Do you know someone who deserves coal this year? There’s still time! Getting a bad Santa letter sent to your personal nemesis costs $2.95, but you can read the letter templates for free – and they’re hilarious! Check it out today. (Thanks to Chris White for this link.)

Read the rest of this list…

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Podcasting Grab Bag, Dec. 4

Another roundup of interesting podcasting tidbits that caught my attention over the last month.

TOP OF THIS LIST: Post details: pseudo podcasting, by DJ Chuang, Nov. 19. This frank, detailed article cuts through the hype of podcasting. As I’m discovering, this new medium is actually a fairly complex undertaking. Podcasting combines many technologies and skills, so just about any would-be podcaster should expect to navigate some kind of significant learning curve. Chuang offers advice for novices based on his experience, and also compares text blogging to podcasting. Well done! Thanks!

Read the rest of this list…

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Wiki Grab Bag, Oct. 31

This is a collection of wiki-related items which have caught my attention recently.

TOP OF THIS LIST: Journalism’s Future May Be Wikipedia, by Peter Tupper, The Tyee, Oct. 22. Excerpt: “Wikipedia.org, an online hypertext encyclopedia to which anybody can add and edit information, could be the future of journalism. Wikipedia is not only a reference work, it also makes a pretty good newspaper.” (Thanks to Crawford Kilian for this link.)

Read the rest of this list…

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This Week\’s Mega-Grab Bag

OK, I’ve found a ton of interesting material this week about a variety of topics. However, I’m short on time. Normally I prefer to say a little bit about why I’m recommending each item, but this week I can’t do that, and I don’t want to let this stuff get too old. So this time I’m just presenting categories and article titles. Hope that suffices, O hungry readers of mine!

Of course, I need to tell you what’s at the TOP OF THIS WEEK’S LIST: Wiremine, the bliki of Brian Tol. Again, a bliki is a form of online publishing that combines features of weblogs and wikis. It’s still in the early stages and has a bunch of kinks, especially in terms of usability and readability. Still, I think the bliki is a powerful concept – and it especially holds considerable potential for online learning environments. I can’t wait until IdeaGlue, the bliki tool Tol’s developing, gets far enough along that a semi-geek like me can try it. (Thanks to Bill Ives for that link. More on blikis from Nova Spivack.)

…Here’s the rest of this week’s list:

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Special Grab Bag: Webfeeds, Webfeeds…

I was just looking over the contentious-to-do topic in my Furl archive, and noticed that several of the items there are about webfeeds in one way or another. So I decided to throw them together into a special grab bag. (What’s Furl? What’s a webfeed?)

TOP OF THE LIST: RSS: Real advantage for marketing and PR, by Neville Hobson, Aug. 16. It seems I’m not the only person who’s talking about how businesses are really missing the boat with regard to webfeeds. (See my Feedless Hall of Shame.) This article addresses how businesses could be leveraging both weblogs and webfeeds to their advantage right now.

On webfeeds, Hobson writes, “The new reality is that blogs and RSS present a phenomenal opportunity to any organization to embrace these new communication channels and engage quickly, directly and effectively with customers, investors, partners and other audiences. If you can’t start a blog yet, the one thing you should do is RSS-enable the corporate PR and marketing information on your website – and get your press releases out via webfeeds as well as by traditional means. (I’ve yet to find any large company who offers open RSS webfeeds of their press releases from their websites.)”

Yeah. What he said.

Here’s the rest of this list…
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Readers Suggest New CONTENTIOUS Topics (Survey Results, Part 8)

(NOTE: This is part 8 of a series exploring the results of the 2004 CONTENTIOUS Reader Survey, which so far has been completed by 195 respondents. See the complete index for more survey results. Additional results will be published in future entries.)

CONTENTIOUS already covers a lot of topics – but this blog is a work in progress, and I certainly want to keep my eye out for intriguing new topics of interest to my readers. Therefore, question 8 of my reader survey was:
What NEW topics or issues would you like to see CONTENTIOUS cover?

The 35 people who answered this question had some interesting ideas…

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Forbes, Webfeeds, and Ignorance

A couple of days ago I posted an item on the Poynter Institute’s E Media Tidbits blog concerning some weirdness over webfeeds witnessed recently at Forbes Magazine. See: Forbes and Webfeeds: Now They Get It, Now They Don’t. Check it out – it’s a clear example of how some people in the media (allegedly a fast-moving, forward-looking industry) can be stunningly resistant to the very idea of change.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention in that Tidbits item: Forbes also recently began offering its own collection of webfeeds.