Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

At some conference or another a while back, I think it was someone from Bloglines who expressed a wish that people would provide one and only one syndication feed for their sites. Most of us provide two, a lot of us provide three or more.

I agree with him in principle: maintaining multiple feeds is a pain. The only problem is, when I tried to drop support for RSS 2.0, a bunch of folks got peeved, and many subscribed to my site through,a site that transforms Atom feeds into RSS 2.0 feeds–inserting ads in the process.

The challenge I had just trying to drop RSS 2.0 support is a good demonstration of the problems that can arise with Sam Ruby’s decision to stop validating Atom 0.3 (beginning as early as August). It’s not that refusing to validate 0.3 Atom will cause feeds based on this to suddenly begin to break, hither and yon. It’s that if someone like me decides I’m just not that worried about updating my feeds right now–especially with the fact that Atom 1.0 has just been released, and I’m not so sure it won’t undergo further changes–we’ll be faced with a barrage of “Why don’t you upgrade to Atom 1.0″, and, “Did you know that your Atom feed isn’t validating?”

We’re already looking at RSS 2.0 and the Curse of the Namespace, triggered in no part by the constant state of flux iTunes as thrown syndication feeds into. Now we’re facing a situation where Atom 0.3 was just a bunch of guys (and gals) dicking around–and upgrade or be ready to field a plethora of comments about Atom 1.0 support in posts related to flowers, walks in the woods, and How about them Cardinals.

Of course, this is my space. I should be able to do what I want with it. In theory. But let’s examine philosophy of weblog ownership outside of theory, shall we?

Webloggers don’t edit. Webloggers do edit, but only grammar. Webloggers edit, but only to correct. Webloggers never pull posts. Webloggers pull posts, but then spend six posts apologizing for the pulled post.

Webloggers write short posts. A good weblogger is a short post weblogger. War and Peace: there was a city, there was a war, there was Napoleon, he didn’t blog.

Webloggers tag their posts. Webloggers are happy taggers. Webloggers don’t know why they tag their posts, but they’re happy.

Webloggers link. Webloggers live to link. I am linked, therefore I am. You aren’t linked, therefore you aren’t. Who are you?

Webloggers love Google. Webloggers love Technorati. Webloggers hate Google. Webloggers hate Technorati. Or is it, webloggers love Google, and hate Technorati? I’m so confused. What day is it today?

Webloggers like trackback. Webloggers like pingback. Webloggers love payback.

Webloggers ping Webloggers ping Webloggers love comments. Webloggers hate comment spam. Webloggers ping, ping, ping. Webloggers love to ping! Webloggers also love to hammer fingers into pulp, and run with the bulls of Pamplona.

People weblog. Companies weblog. Newspapers weblog. Governments weblog. My cat weblogs–but she doesn’t link. Bitch.

Webloggers subscribe to feeds. Macho webloggers subscribe to a LOT of feeds. Muy macho webloggers subscribe to so many feeds, they can only afford to read the third word in every post. If you want to be linked by an A-Lister, this was your hint for the day.

Webloggers post in reverse chronological order. The sun will not rise if you do it wrong. It will just keep setting.

Webloggers provide permalinks. Webloggers provide cruft-free permalinks. Webloggers provide cruft-free permalinks that they promise to never EVER break. We can die. Our permalinks can’t.

Webloggers don’t write about their family. Webloggers write about their family. Webloggers write about their husbands or wives.

Webloggers divorce a lot.

Webloggers write about cats. No, no! Webloggers don’t write about cats. Webloggers never write in their jammies with their cats in their laps! Webloggers never write in their jammies with their cute little boojums woojums purring on their wappy lapp… Webloggers don’t write about cats.

Webloggers fact check. Webloggers sort of fact check. Webloggers fact check the fact checks, but not necessarily the facts. Webloggers don’t fact check, they give opinion.

Webloggers always write in valid XHTML. Webloggers will beat to death anyone who doesn’t. Or harass them in comments, whichever comes first. Webloggers always use valid CSS–and you don’t want to know what happens to you if you don’t. Webloggers never use tables. Oh, god, how can you think that webloggers would use tables? Webloggers can write gibberish, as long as it validates.

Webloggers support the semantic web. No, no! Not the big one! The other one. The little one.

Webloggers meet. You’re not a real weblogger if you don’t meet. There are only 100 real webloggers: the rest of us only think we’re here. HaHa, world! Fool you!

Webloggers make money. No! Money is evil! Webloggers are homeless, living off of free WiFi, and scrounging for moldy bread crusts in garbage cans.

Webloggers ask for money. Webloggers don’t beg. Webloggers get sponsors. Webloggers don’t sell out. Webloggers run ads. Are you kidding? Ads are evil. It’s not about the money. It’s all about the money.

Webloggers are journalists. No they aren’t. Yes they are. No they aren’t. Yes they are. Mooommm! She’s picking on me!

Webloggers provide RSS 0.91. No, that’s RSS 0.92. Idiot, I meant RSS 1.0. Doofus, what is your problem? That should be Pie. No, Echo. No, Atom. Why not Eve? Stop, don’t got there.

Webloggers provide RSS 2.0. For Microsoft. For Apple. For Microsoft. For Apple. For Microsoft. For Apple. For…

And finally, Webloggers support Atom 0.3. Webloggers don’t support Atom 0.3. Webloggers support Atom whassit.


I’m tired of all the time spent on something that’s incidental to the purpose of this weblog. So rather than upgrade to Atom whatever, I’m dropping support for Atom whatever. But before the RSS 2.0 folks snicker, with the mess it looks to be in the future, I’m dropping support for it, too. The only reason I’ll keep support for either of these feeds is if someone shows me that their aggregator won’t work with RSS 1.0. Otherwise, I will ask that if you are subscribed to this site through any feed other than, please change your subscription to this feed, using this specific URL. Yes I know it’s a crufty URL, but I don’t care.

Monday, the remaining syndication feeds and feed URIs are going, going, and gone–and then I don’t have to waste time ‘dicking’ around with syndication feeds. I’m sure that Bloglines will be happy, though Technorati may be sad. But then, Bloglines is ‘good’ now and Technorati ‘bad’, so that’s OK. Next week when this reverses — and it will, it always does– I’ll be out taking pictures of flowers, and won’t care.

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