Your Attention.xml Please

If you haven’t heard me proclaim, “RSS killed the visual web designer”, now you have.

Quickly stated, RSS is a structured format for distributing text, audio (podcasting), video (vlogging), even applications in a convenient and anonymous way.

For the publisher, RSS means the timeliness of email without the worry about spam filtering. For the reader, RSS means the convenience of email with the anonymity of a web page.

The downside is metrics.

Measuring behavior on websites is always nebulous. Robots, routers, giant ISPs can all throw off numbers. For publishers RSS doesn’t really help this problem. For readers, there’s a slightly different problem – once you’ve aggregated your 200 favorite websites into a single place, what do you pay attention to.

Cody and I have been talking about Attention.xml solving the both problems.

I’m interested in how Attention.xml can tighten the publisher-reader relationship and help readers share what’s interesting to them with friends. While also giving Cody and I better numbers on our respective podcasts.

More thoughts and prototypes on this later.

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