One-Click Subscriptions to RSS


Dave Winer is proposing a one-click subscription service for RSS feeds. The problem with the current set-up, as stated by Dave is:

Yahoo sends emails to bloggers with RSS feeds saying, hey if you put this icon on your weblog you'll get more subscribers. It's true you will. Then Feedster says the same thing, and Bloglines, etc etc. Hey I did it too, back when Radio was pretty much the only show in town, you can see the icon to the right, if you click on it, it tries to open a page on your machine so you can subscribe to it. I could probably take the icon down by now, most Radio users probably are subscribed to Scripting News, since it is one of the defaults. But it's there for old time sake, for now.

Anyway, all those logos, when will it end? I can't imagine that Microsoft is far behind, and then someday soon CNN is going to figure out that they can have their own branded aggregator for their own users (call me if you want my help, I have some ideas about this) and then MSNBC will follow, and Fox, etc. Sheez even Best Buy and Circuit City will probably have a "Click here to subscribe to this in our aggregator" button before too long.
From RSS:
Referenced Tue Jan 18 2005 07:42:36 GMT-0700

Dave proposes a service and a single, non-vendor specific icon that when clicked would add the feed to the user's OPML on the service. Dave even has a prototype to prove it works: feeds.scripting.com.

This differs from what Bloglines does in a few important respects:

  • First its non-partisan, as it were.
  • Second, it should tie back to the aggregator so that the aggregator knows to automatically go check the OPML at this service whenever its starts up and update the subscriptions. NetNewsWire, my aggregator doesn't play with Bloglines.

I support this plan. I think its a small step that provides real value. Furthermore, it begins a cooperative dialogue among various parties. Because Dave is proposing to make the code to the service public, this has the potential to become a lightweight version of UDDI for RSS and other RESTful Web services. I like that.