(I mean aside from the name; I vote for using Prince's now discarded squiggly and calling it Victor) is not one of intent. The problem is that, just like RSS, the street will -- and I mean will -- find its own bloody use for it. Nevermind what it is, or will be, today everyone seems possessed by a desire to pinpoint what it was. I'm all for talking shop but seriously folks this is not a hard nut to crack : RSS was whatever anyone wanted it to be. At any given moment. Subject to every single whim imagineable. Without notice or compensation. If you get that simple simple fact through your thick thick skulls, we might just be able to stop trying to build a Grand Unifying Theory of Pithy Commentary. It just ain't gonna happen, not in any lasting fashion anyway. In the four years (two weeks ago today, now that I think of it) I've been doing this I have seen only two constants that can be used to accurately describe the Idea of Weblog:
  1. The level of hype will continue to grow and get progressively sillier (I find this one especially bothersome but it's out of my control)
  2. Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
This is not to say that some kind of concensus won't be achieved or that it won't be a good thing. There are enough people with enough interest, economic or otherwise, to make something happen and it sufficiently wonkish to ensure that the applications will be built. But don't kid yourself and think that when this magic pie doesn't do something that a person wants it to do that they'll stop and submit a patch for the spec. The same applies to tool makers, probably more so. These are all technical problems that are being dressed up a social ones and there is no really compelling set of norms and consequences to force people to use the One True Format. If you have something worthwhile to say, people will pay attention regardless of your bloody fucking syndication file. The ease of use and social software gang are probably sharpening their knives right now so I will say it again : this is a technical problem, not a social one. Furthermore, we have the tools to solve these problems right here, right now. If you want suck all of the links out of an entry, here's the code to do it. If you tell me that you want to only get some of those links and not others then you'll have to maintain some kind of list to keep track of who is on first. That's life. We haven't learned to read minds so it's not something we've taught computers how to do yet. And, and this is the important part, the kind of thing that the Idea of Weblog represent just doesn't lend itself to consensus. Sorry.