April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Workshops: Description

Everything RSS

Jim Spadaccini, Ideum, USA

RSS, commonly known as "Really Simple Syndication," is the most well-known Web feed format. RSS feeds are a key technology for blogging and podcasting, but we are also beginning to see them as a standard for just about any Website with dynamic content. First released in 1999, the RSS format continues its slow ascent toward becoming a mainstream Web technology. Today, most browsers and many email programs (along with dedicated RSS readers) allow visitors to subscribe to feeds, removing a major obstacle to its adoption. RSS (and atom) has become a technology that museums need to better understand and utilize.

The popularity of FeedBurner (acquired by Google in 2007) vividly demonstrates the growth of RSS as hundreds of thousands of users have now burned over 1 million feeds. Beyond FeedBurner, a new generation of RSS-centric applications has emerged allowing online visitors to mix, alter, filter, search, and embed feeds. This next generation of online feed tools will change the way users interact with RSS.

In this half day workshop, we will move beyond the basics of Web feeds and take a close look at the next generation of RSS tools. We will examine xFruits, AideRSS, FeedBlendr, Runstream, and RSS Mixer and discuss the future of RSS technology. In addition, we will take a behind-the-scenes look at the core technologies behind the RSS Mixer application, which handles tens of thousands of feeds and millions of posts.

Technologies such as: feed aggregation, blogs, podcasts, mobile formatted pages, widgets, rich-media embeds, and other will be examined. We will build our own feeds, mix them, filter them, widgetize them and through that process better understand how RSS can be used to connect to our Web visitors. Lastly, we will discuss the use of Web feeds in the museum world, explore how they are used, and discuss how these technologies could be better utilized by our community.

Workshop: Everything RSS [Afternoon]

Keywords: rss, xml, atom, design, usability, widget, mobile, feed, Web 2.0