It seems that bloggers’ adoption of RSS [Rich Site Summary] has spurred the evolution of weblogs. With an increasing number of bloggers making the transition from using diary-like date headers to creating news sources with headlines and more topical content, RSS is altering the ‘Blogosphere’ in a major and irrevocable way.
Thanks to Blogger and Moveable Type, providing RSS versions of blog content has become a common activity. And with software like NetNewsWire Lite for OS X, I can read what’s new at my favourite blogs without opening a browser. In my list of subscriptions, blogs nestle amongst more traditional news sources: Wired, MacSlash, Slashdot and The Register. While many of these news sources have a pretty standard format of RSS file - title, link and short description - the way bloggers format their RSS varies. By definition, RSS lends itself to sites with headlines, precis text and long articles. But blogs tend to be short articles of text without the need of an article description. This poses a problem: placing your blog post into the RSS description tag means that the RSS item has no extra content to point to, unless you have a comments feature on your page. The result of this is that people are changing their blogs to fit into the RSS model; they’re adding titles and comment facilities, to the point where blogs look less like diaries and more like Slashdot.
So, weblogs are adapting to a relative newcomer to the blogosphere - RSS - and I wonder what other technologies are on the horizon that will adapt them even further.