A New Paradigm for Browsing?
I’ve been using various simple RSS readers for sometime now, in particular one called “SlashDock.” It was initially cool just to be able to keep easy access to slashdot and a few other key sites. I started to add more sites to it and it started to run out of steam, which is when I rediscovered NetNewsWire Lite.
An article on Jason Kottke’s site (which I actually read via NNW) got me thinking about this.
So, people access documents written in a markup language that have been published on a Web server with a software application. If this seems familiar to you, it should. It’s called Web browsing and has nothing to do with syndication. RSS readers and newsreaders are just specialized Web browsers, nascent microcontent browsers if you will…
I used to just run down my blog roll on the right hand side of my index page to keep up with things, but in the last few weeks, I’ve only hit a few key sites that don’t syndicate via RSS (or at least, sites on which I cannot find the RSS/XML/RDF feed location).
What happens when content is completely stripped of any design? As a designer, a majority of my day is spent devising the manner in which content is presented to a client’s target market. On one side I hate it, because presentation can make or break content. On the other hand, I absolutely love it. I can, in a matter of minutes, see what’s been updated, if any headlines interest me, and most of the time, at least read an excerpt (in my experience, most sites don’t do full content RSS yet). And as Kottke mentioned, XML feeds have a far stronger hierarchy compared to traditional HTML markup.
So, do any of you read in this manner, and if so, how do you feel about your own sites being presented without the design that you (or others) have created to present the content? How much time do you spend tweaking your XML feed to present properly?