I have got a beta version of an RSS feed running for this site.

RSS is the most popular of a family of new web protocols designed to publish the content of websites in a machine readable format. If your playing along at home this means you can sign up for a service like semantic web. Currently, the information of the internet exists mostly in HTML web pages which must be parsed to be read. Almost all of the markup (the language around the data) deals with how the information will be displayed. While this is great for a single person visiting the website, it makes it very complicated to write programs which access the data in new ways. Google’s search engine is a hack around this that uses the HTML to guess the content and link to it, but much of the internet is not visible to Google because it requires user input or is not linked to anywhere on the web (the so-called hidden web).

The semantic web will be a new era in which information can be collated and easily searched by computers, greatly increasing the benefit of the internet. No longer will marketeers have to guess about the opinions of the latest over-inflated hyped up blockbuster, simply by searching RSS feeds they can have the answers instantly.

Unfortunately technically getting information into RSS is very difficult. I had to translate characters that didn’t match UTF-8 (I could have changed the character set but this includes other complications) and I had to URL encode all my links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *