So, reading all the posts from biblioblogs about Internet Librarian 2006 makes me sad that I’m not there. Ah well, maybe next year.
The ‘R’ of Steven’s talk is ‘RSS’, and a few bloggers have noted that he said it wasn’t really a social technology:
Library Web Chic: “R – RSS (not really social software)”
Librarian in Black: “R: RSS – is it social software? not really, as it’s a more solitary endeavor–no giving or sharing”
I wasn’t there and didn’t get to hear Steven’s comments for myself (dangit), and I hate to potentially disagree with Steven- but the assertion that RSS isn’t social needs discussion.
RSS frees content from the constraints of a web page and allows it to be re-parsed, mashed-up, recontextualized, resyndicated, aggregated, searched, and tagged. These are all social acivities.
Adding RSS to your content is in itself a social act; it invites others to make use of your content in whatever context, tool, or project works best for them. Offering full feeds says that you’re more interested in sharing your ideas with than driving up the page-view counts in whatever analytics software you use. Offering your content via a feed is sharing, is giving, and is social.
There are a great number of reasons why it would be inaccurate to call RSS “social software,” (it isn’t really software, for one- it is an XML document format) but it enables all kinds of social interaction, and I think it (or its successor technologies) will do a lot more of that in years to come- so it might be equally inaccurate to propose that it isn’t social.
Someone please leave a comment and confirm that I’m not alone in this view? After all, Steven DID include it in his A-to-Z list on social software, even if he did so with a disclaimer.
Meh. I wish I could’ve gone to IL2006. 🙁