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I'm re-thinking RSS now (scripting.com)
17 points by sp8 26 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

> As Twitter discovered, its style of writing doesn't fit into the model of RSS.

It doesn't?

> People were disappointed when they stopped publishing tweets via RSS. But this was the right thing to do, in hindsight. It wasn't working.

Why wasn't it working?

I'll admit I've never used Twitter's RSS feeds—because at the time it was around, I was a teenager with no use for RSS. But I can't imagine why RSS as a protocol would be unable to represent tweets.

Whether any given RSS reader has an optimal UI for displaying tweets is another matter. But the great thing about interoperable protocols is that the content and client are separate. The client can be adapted and improved to fit your needs, if you want.

He's pretty clear in the article that it's the "title-description-body" model that doesn't work -- tweets don't generally benefit from a title or a summary.

...am I not seeing the whole article somehow? The page I'm seeing is five short paragraphs, which don't mention that model.

Anyway, it seems to me you should leave those fields out if they aren't applicable.

I wouldn't say it's clear by any means but follow the "in 2017" link. After reading that page if it doesn't make sense why simply leaving those fields out wouldn't work follow a few more links in any of the articles and then try rereading the "in 2017" link.

It's not so much "is it possible to push arbitrary text in RSS" as it is "is it possible to push the writing flow in RSS".

I've been writing about this for a while, I don't repeat everything in every post, which is probably why it was confusing.

Anyway, what Twitter did is repeat the body of the tweet in the title and description sub-elements of item.

The reason they did this is probably that the dominant reader of the day, Google Reader, pretty much required titles. So when you'd read a tweet in a feed reader you'd see the text of the tweet twice. Not a good user experience.

The problem isn't with RSS, because it allows for titleless items, rather with the reader.

And that problem is still with us today because there isn't much consistency among the readers other than the Google Reader model. They are all following GR, not RSS.

And that makes tweet-like-things-in-RSS pretty much a non-starter.

For examples, look at my blog on any given day most of what's there is too short to have a title, like a tweet.


Hope this helps.

Uh...title = username, description = bio?

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