Are Web feeds changing our perception of the Internet?

Everybody knows the tiny orange icon in they address bar of your browser and more and more people started actually clicking it. Feed readers like Google Reader, Netvibes modules or desktop applications like Liferea are becoming more popular and the Open Source and Free Software communities apparently all share some kind of affection for blog aggregating planets. Typically, Web feeds are .xml based, machine readable documents syndicating html information that applications like the mentioned readers pull from the server and display in human readable form, while there are other uses like fetching torrents to use in p2p downloads, news aggregation is the most common scenario for the ordinary person.

Surfing the web one encounters many different interesting pages and can subscribe to the feeds offered on these, you can collect feeds of those sites, blogs and even social sites like digg or twitter. You create your own personal web of information that really matter to you, without having to visit all these different web sites. Feeds changed the way I use, the way I gather information on the web significantly  and one thing I came only to think about recently is that many of those blogs, or news sites I follow I haven’t seen the real web sites in an awfully long time, some I haven’t even visited once.

I don’t have to.

They only thing that would make me do visit a site would be to write a comment or read those already there.

For me web sites consist of mere lines of text on a white background, with simple or no formatting at all, pictures may play their part but often look out of place. No headers, no logos, no side bars, no footers, just the post and me.

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3 thoughts on “Are Web feeds changing our perception of the Internet?

  1. I am seaching for some idea to write in my blog… somehow come to your blog. best of luck. Eugene

  2. That’s quite funny because that’s exactly the same constatation that lead me to create a blog without any webpage ( this and the fact that I do not like css ). But you still have to provide a webpage if you want to be indexed, because most search engine do not read rss and atom, or at least, never follow the links.

    So far, only yahoo have been accessing to page linked only by a feed, and I think they do not indexes the content of the feed itself. And since google represent almost 100% of the marketshare ( at least, on the log i have seen ), you have to link to various site, to link inside the site, to be linked from elsewhere, so you cannot avoid having a webpage.

    Of course, unless you do not want people seeing your feed :)

  3. @Michael: I was really amazed when I saw your non-blog, such an simple yet brilliant idea and your FAQ made me laugh :D

    Yes, I think indexing is the only real issue here, search engines, especially Google are defining today’s web, and if it doesn’t see your content it’s like it wouldn’t exist and which I think is a little sad. Think about the resources you could save using feeds as some sort of blog protocol without having to run much else let alone a website.