Tempest in a web feed
Macworld runs a story titled Microsoft exec defends RSS rebranding. I must admit that I'm with those who'd love to have a simple, human-like way to depict feeds to the layman. RSS feeds is as self-explanatory (and appealing) to "normal" people as URL. Plus how do you deal with Atom feeds? I mean the ones that just happen to carry exactly the same purpose.
When I introduce the notion of feeds to people, I call them news feeds. When they ask how to find them, I tell them to look at some rectangular orange button that reads "RSS" or "XML", or "Syndicate this site", or for the lucky ones using Firefox or Safari for the special icon that marks the presence of a feed. Speak about simplicity! I don't even try to mention Atom. "Call ’em what you bloody well want" says Tim Bray.
Geeks tend to despise marketing, but sometimes they should learn about the importance of describing something in a simple manner, and how to market it to the public.
How do you call feeds when you describe them?