I acquired the domain name rssboard.com this past weekend for the RSS Advisory Board, which publishes its site at an .org domain. The owner put the domain up for sale on Sedo for $250, which was a reasonable expense to avoid losing type-in visitors who think the site address ends in .com. Sedo handled the payment escrow and domain transfer process pretty well, calling me on the phone several times to help move things along. From start to finish, it took 16 days. The board operates with a $0 budget and expenditures ... read more

I voted for the proposal to clarify the RSS 2.0 specification this morning. I think it's the proper interpretation of what the spec means regarding namespace support, and the board's the proper place to address it. This is, of course, a controversial position. I have never found a non-controversial position involving RSS, other than "escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." The political debate between advocates of the board and ... read more

The current proposal to clarify the RSS 2.0 specification has drawn a response from Dave Winer: Every so often I get an email asking what's up with the RSS Advisory Board. Here's what I thought in May 2004: "This group is not a standards organization. It does not own RSS, or the spec, it has no more or less authority than any other group of people who wish to promote RSS." Today I think it's even less than that. It basically stopped functioning later in 2004. The people involved went on to do other things. In the ... read more

Randy Charles Morin has proposed the addition of four words to the RSS 2.0 specification (emphasis added): In the section Extending RSS, we propose that the following sentence be changed: "A RSS feed may contain elements not described on this page, only if those elements are defined in a namespace." It should be revised to read as follows: "A RSS feed may contain elements and attributes not described on this page, only if those elements and attributes are defined in a namespace." This proposal was the subject of a ... read more

As chairman of the RSS Advisory Board, I've been called into two discussions recently about where people should link when referring to RSS 2.0. There are two leading contenders: the RSS 2.0 specification published by the board and an older copy archived by Dave Winer. The board's web site moved off Harvard's server in January 2006 to our own domain, rssboard.org. We've published the RSS 2.0 specification since 2003 and the current version of the document will always have the permanent URL ... read more

The largest email-based RSS service was sold to NBC Universal this week, an event that's curiously absent from the tech press. Randy Charles Morin's R-Mail was purchased by the entertainment network for an undisclosed amount. The service has 50,000 users, 100,000 subscriptions and sends out more than 50,000 e-mails per day, according to DMW Daily, though I suspect a zero's missing from the last figure. When I wrote about R-Mail last August, it had 20,000 users. R-Mail makes it possible to receive web site updates ... read more

Chris Finke, a senior engineer at Netscape, has joined the RSS Advisory Board. Finke's a Netscape.Com and Netscape 9 browser developer as well as the creator of the Mozilla Firefox extensions RSS Ticker and OPML Support. Netscape played a formative role in the development of RSS, publishing the first RSS specification in 1999 and spurring adoption by encouraging publishers to create feeds for the first aggregator -- the recently relaunched My.Netscape. Netscape published RSS 0.90, the common ancestor of both RSS ... read more