'Feed grazing' and disposable RSS feeds

Richard at Read/Write Web has pointed to a (rather technical) discussion about ‘disposable RSS feeds’. It’s something I wrote about a few weeks ago – but because I’m not a big-shot blogger (yet), nobody noticed. 🙁
RSS is all about fast-moving information. It may have emerged from the world of blogs, but its application goes way, way further. Every day I see new uses for RSS feeds. If I order an item from an e-commerce site, I want an RSS feed telling me of the order’s progress (and ideally, tracking the package to my door). This information is probably already on a web page in the ‘my account’ area – but I haven’t got time to keep checking that. I just want RSS to alert me, when there’s something worth alerting me to.
The debate isn’t about my degree of commitment to any particular content. It’s about the raison d’etre for the feed. Once my item is delivered, the feed has served its purpose. (I actually agree with Mark Wilson‘s point that ‘we commit more’ as we surf around the web, and find resources we want to buy into. But I don’t think it’s an either-or situation. I see myself doing more of both.)
I need an RSS ‘scribble pad’: maybe a widget sitting on my desktop; allowing me to drag-and-drop feed URLs into it, with the ability to handle password-protected feeds; polling for updates on a very regular basis; and offering one-click deletion for when the feed has served its purpose. I think we’re looking at a relatively small, lightweight app; it doesn’t need brilliant navigation or OPML import/export. These disposable feeds will have a lifespan measured in days; I don’t imagine a big collection growing in there.
(I don’t think Taskable is it, by the way.)

2 thoughts on “'Feed grazing' and disposable RSS feeds”

  1. Thanks for the link! I really think that the conversation is focussed on the wrong topic. Is RSS temporary or long term – it’s like saying that about art. It could be one or the other – does it matter? So then, what does matter? In the decades to come what I’d like to see is protection of the source for the creator.

  2. Having recently got into using Ubuntu, there is a simplicity to the way the KDE browser handles RSS which would near enough offer this ability to someone today.
    The only problem I foresee is that all this will need additional bandwidth and is going to be an unexpected reason to get even faster broadband! Yes, checking email or RSS is only a few packets – but when you are doing it all the time for 10 different email addresses, as well as surfing the net and downloading bit torrents of last weeks TV as well as auto downloading PC patches, the ammount of data we need just to keep still is quite mind blowing!

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