Feedburner bad for us?

Munir Umrani says: “I read the [Dave Winer] post twice and could not understand why Feedburner is trouble.”

The post he’s talking about? Dave Winer, who wrote “Why Feedburner is trouble.”

That caused a bunch of conversation over the weekend.

Ian Betteridge answers back “I could switch my feeds away from FeedBurner within a week.”

I disagree with Ian. If he switched his feeds from Feedburner that would break my news aggregator. I’d stop getting his feed and it wouldn’t be guaranteed that my aggregator would get his new feed. In fact, I’ll bet it’ll just stop getting Ian. Switching feed URLs at this point is audience suicide. If you don’t care about your audience you’ll do it.

UPDATE: Nick Bradbury, in my comments, says that you can move off of Feedburner feeds and most feed readers will respect that. (Read my comments on this thread for more).

But, what really is cooking here is that RSS has been moved to big companies to control. How so? Well, the RSS Advisory board, which includes members from Cisco, Yahoo, Netscape, FeedBurner (er, Google), Microsoft, and Bloglines and this new unofficial board +is+ changing the RSS spec all the time (they are now up to version 2.0.9. UPDATE: which only represents a couple of changes, according to comments left on this post). Dave Winer, who founded that spec says that’s in direct contradiction with the original charter of the RSS Advisory Board that he founded when he moved RSS from UserLand over to Harvard University.

So, the RSS spec already IS being changed. The big companies are in charge and we’ve gotta deal with any mess they get together and create for all of us.

I really don’t get why these big companies want to mess with the RSS 2.0 spec when the Atom spec, which is a formal standard, is out there. Why don’t they join the Atom committee and why do these big companies want to even have the appearance of messing with a spec that we all are happily using?

What is it with engineers and big companies that they always want to mess with RSS instead of getting together and coming up with a feed format with another name and do whatever they want with THAT? They tried to get the world to switch to Atom, failed, and now are coming back to mess with RSS. Again. Sigh.

If they did this to SMTP or HTTP or HTML wouldn’t the tech world be going nuts right now? Where’s the Web 2.0 version of the Web Standards Project?


Why no hype for hi5?

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore asks why isn’t there more hype for hi5 when compared to Facebook? After all, hi5 is located in San Francisco and just got $20 million from Mohr Davidow Ventures. Here’s why:

1) Not one of my readers has bugged me to join. With Facebook I had at least 200 people bug me to join over the past few months before I joined. In fact, I had dinner with Kevin Rose (the guy behind Digg and Pownce) and he begged me personally to join Facebook. The words I heard over and over were “the best.” “You’ll like it.” “It’s the best network.” Etc. Etc. Etc.
2) When I sign in I don’t see anything that tells me it’ll be useful for professional networking. Facebook is thought of as “for college kids” but when you sign in it’s professional and there’s no rap singer or bling bling in my face that tells me that I probably am too old for it. On hi5 it’s completely different. The home page looks like a high school kid would love it (and that’s probably why they got $20 million).
3) No app platform that I can see. If you wonder why Facebook is getting all the hype you better understand why the app platform got me to join in.
4) Not many people I know and the ones who are there already don’t seem to be very active. On Facebook there were TONS of people I knew already on the service and everytime I visited one of their profile pages I could tell there was lots of activity (and now that I joined Facebook’s mini-feed brings me lots of activity from my network).

So, why no hype? It only took me five minutes to see why no hype. That doesn’t mean a lot of people won’t join it, though. Just won’t be me saying “you MUST be on this” like I do for Facebook.