Beyond 'blogs = easy webpublishing' (2)
Paolo Valdemarin in To innovate or not to innovate:
It's interesting to read some of the comments to my post about free weblogs.
I'm seeing the same trend also here in Italy where the most popular provider of free weblogging tools does not provide some basic features such as ping to weblogs.com, RSS feed or trackback.
People is asking "Why should we care? We don't even understand what you are talking about!". New features are often perceived as unnecessary "bells and whistles".
I think that there's still plenty of room to improve todays' tools, but with the audience growing every day at a steady pace and consequently having a lower average technical culture, it becomes very important to effectively communicate what these improvements are about and why they are needed. We must be able to explain why something is important (if it is).
Otherwise we can all sit back, relax, move to a free blogging app and wait for the next wave because this game is over.
I couldn't agree more.
I strongly believe that having RSS feed enables social processes around weblogs (there are other things next to RSS of course). For me these social processes are the core value of blogging. Introducing weblogs without introducing good ways to read other weblogs (=RSS) makes it more difficult for a new blogger to establish "blogging social network" and there is a risk that the networking value of blogging will be never discovered.
Next to it, RSS enables a lot of smart add-ons (think of k-collector or edu_RSS) to process and aggregate weblogs content, and I guess it plays a great role in enabling tracking tools (I guess some of them subscribe to RSS feeds instead of crawling web-pages). So, newcomers who use free tools without RSS will not be visible in a "easy to digest ways" for others.
Back to Paolo's words, I believe that providing only easy weblpublishing tools is not good enough to surf this wave and we'll have to wait for another one.
[Related posts: a weblog without an RSS feed..., Beyond 'blogs = easy webpublishing' , How selection of blogging tool functionalities influences specific uses of blogs?]