Articles filed under RSS

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch February 2017. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

I am a long-time proponent of RSS but am aware that it is declining in visibility. Many sites large and small are not offering RSS feeds any more. What’s up?

As an accountant who has spent almost his whole career building businesses – mainly start-ups – I really value good data, especially those predictive of future outcomes.

I have been active in building web-based businesses – businesses that “live” on the web, not just “use” the web – so they have to succeed on the web because there is no physical business presence.

However, in recent years I have become increasingly concerned about some of the data being collected on the web and then used to make important decisions. The reason for this is the issue I have with all data – it is easy to interpret a lot of data to mean what you want them to mean.

More than six years ago I predicted RSS would explode. Perhaps I used the wrong word. For most web users the earth did not move; they either remained blissfully unaware of RSS or couldn’t care less about it. And these days we have so many better ways of sharing latest updates. Who needs RSS when we have Twitter? And Google’s popular RSS Reader has been withdrawn. So is RSS dead? Far from it.

Recently there has been some new thinking as to how RSS can be used. By combining RSS (supplied content) which is flexible and adding in simple content management, it is possible for firms to have RSS pages which are not “cookie cutter” versions and which appear to the viewer to be unique.

RSS, commonly known as Really Simple Syndication, is a new method of gathering information from online resources in a quick, convenient manner. It would seem that law firms would like to keep current and active in new data mining techniques, but introducing RSS can be tricky for some firms – old habits die hard.

You can find legal news for many practice areas – and about the industries or fields relevant to those practice areas – online. RSS is popular because it makes keeping on top of your favourite information sources easier. Going to your favourite websites each day to check for updates can be a difficult and tedious routine to maintain and is hardly an efficient use of your time. This is where RSS comes in. This article looks at RSS from several angles: what it is, a review of RSS readers, and how to handle all the information your RSS reader throws at you.

Significant developments in 2006 covered in this article include the Statute Law Database, growth and a new look for BAILII, a redesign of the Europa site, an OFT report on public sector information and substantial growth and development of blogs and wikis. Predictions for 2007 focus largely on so-called “social software”.