As I’ve written about elsewhere, one reasons it’s fun to hang out in the weblog world is that weblogs let your speech flow quickly and easily through the ‘net. The lube, as it were, is a data format called RSS. The copyright for that standard was recently transferred from UserLand Software to Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
There has been much discussion. Technorati can find it for you if you’re interested.
I’ve been too busy to read all the comments, but one thing that baffles me are the folks who moan about too much control being in the hands of LittleCo’s like UserLand. They seem to be missing the big news that the IBM, Google and AOL are beginning to invest. Maybe these companies will do well by the weblog community. I hope so.
But remember that it’s the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t know. The newcomers are big enough to hire people whose full time job is to argue with you until you run out of energy to fight. And to hire still more people whose full time job is to make the protocols so complicated that only other BigCo’s can afford to support them.
Wake up, people. This isn’t about whom in our little community you’re rooting for. In some ways I’m not even sure it’s about the technical merits. It may be simply that IBM had some extra money floating around to experiment with.
Update (23 July): I’ve gotten several comments after Dave linked to my post from his site. If you haven’t been following my blog you might think I’m against “the evil BigCo’s”. I’m not. Big companies do great things all the time. The post that follows this one gives an example.
So what’s my point, then? It’s this. Be careful. Understand the costs and benefits of what you undertake. Strive for situational awareness in addition to thinking about the purely technical issues.
Speaking of which, if you know of a page in http://intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/FrontPage that discloses who is supporting its existence, i.e. companies that fund the hosting or dedicate employee time to the development of the spec, please add it to the comments section and I will hyperlink to it here.