More on the RSS that we need

I’ve caught up on all the reading around RSS now and am roundly confused. But that’s ok, that’s normal for me. A good place to start to those new to it is with Echo and then onto John Gotze who will get you everywhere else you need to go, pot or no pot.

Sometime last year, November or so, I was working hard on trying to figure out what RSS would really do. I wanted a couple of things:

– To pull definitive content from a site. Suppose I issue a query to a site and say “tell me what ‘disability living allowance’ really is”, could RSS or some variant of it do that?

– To pull more than just a teaser from a site. Suppose I wanted all the content that was tagged for small businesses in the north east (the great thing about that term ‘north east’ is, of course, that no matter where you are in the world, north east always means something), could I pull that from one site? Or even more than one site?

– To get personalised content based on a profile from a range of sites. Suppose I’d let government know a few words that were interesting to me (maybe I’m doing research or something) and, every so often, government’s techie stuff scans the sites that it owns and alerts me to what is new on those words and sends me a well structured article containing what I need. Can RSS do that?

I still am no nearer figuring that out. But, I’m hoping that with a few more people debating the standard, I can plug some of my clever folks into the conversation (the wiki, whatever that is) to figure out how we might do something along the lines that I want.

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