I’m being pretty facetious here. I know the people leading this discussion well enough now, and have even talked with them about this, to know that they all already get this. In fact the notes on the wiki have Brian making this very point in –
“Cheap, simple, existing tools and standards point to an approach that…foster communities of practice (if COP = group of people who form based on shared a set of goals, use a common set of resources), and integrate the “product” with the process. Why? Because the tools, techniques and standards emerge from existing and growing use of “social software.” COP’s working with this model are not a theoretical construct… they are a reality. “
But apparently I feel the need to flog a flogged horse. RSS *is* important as a lightweight application of XML that can enable LOs to show up in different places, be found and aggregated from various closed off sources and is accompanied by an ever-expanding set of tools that make it easy to produce and consume. So for all these reasons, it’s important, exciting and worth making a fuss about.
But for me, ‘blogging’ (and more importantly participating in the ‘blogosphere’) and RSS are not synonymous. Maybe you couldn’t have had the phenomenon of the blogosphere without RSS. But the phenomenon I see Brian describing above, the one that excites me, is in my mind occuring not just because of RSS, but because of the conventions, many of them not always particularly well supported by the tools or the protocols, that are arising surrounding blogging – blogrolling, people following up on their referrer logs and then reading that person’s blog, people citing a fellow blogger as the source for just spotting something (not just the authors) …. One could argue that many of these couldn’t exist without RSS or something similar. But one can publish a blog without a blogroll, and re-post items that one has read in another’s blog without citing the source or adding to it.