Scripting News: Adoption, not invention.

Lots of stuff gets invented that never makes a difference.

Invention isn’t the important moment with any format or protocol.

The moment that’s important is adoption. If it got adopted then we call it “good enough” and go on.

In RSS, the moment of adoption came when the NY Times published feeds in RSS 2.0 format in 2002. That got the users going, and gave other pubs something to shoot at. Blogging software already supported the format. We were off to the races.

Also, a lot of the early users were reporters and editors, which drove the need for other pubs to get on board. If all the users had been in some other profession, the uptake might not have been so quick or large

It wasn’t an act of invention, or even design — it was adoption and then uptake that make RSS as a format significant.

Technologists and reporters should understand this is a process, not a moment.

Hopefully that sheds some light on a subject that now seems to be interesting to people, which imho is a good thing.

And obviously all this is just my own opinion. Like a guy whose been around a sport for a long time and thinks he understands what makes it tick. Not presented as anything other than that. 🙂

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About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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