Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Why are publishers so dumb?

Why do corporate publishers of "blogs" not include RSS feeds?

I like to read Bill Simmons' "Sports Guy" column on ESPN. But not enough to check it all the time. If there were an RSS feed available to alert me when a new column was up, and show the first paragraph, I'm sure I'd click over, generating ad impressions for ESPN. But of course, no RSS feed is available.

Today, I happened to see in one of Simmons' articles that an actual NBA player, Paul Shirley, has a blog on NBA.com. Miracle of miracles, it is entertaining, well-written, and illuminating. Full disclosure: Shirley is the 12th man on the Phoenix Suns. This means that he never plays, so he has a lot of time on his hands. Also, he was an engineering major at Iowa State, so his intellect is above that of the usual professional basketball, player. In his own words:

"As I spend more and more time around basketball players, my brain power continues to diminish, which is not helping. I have been on a slow burn since college, where I was at least encouraged to spend half the day around semi-studious (okay, in my case, uber-studious, with the whole engineering thing) types, and my brainpower probably benefited. After four years of professional basketball, with the expected level of intelligence seeming to drain from the ranks as the don’t-go-to-college-since-you-can-get-the-guaranteed-money-now trend has taken hold, my brain is a veritable mush. The only thing left up there are a few quotes from Tommy Boy and a dozen ways to cover a pick-and-roll."

At any rate, these publishers just don't get it. So when is someone going to come up with a way to convert any normal Web page into an RSS-able feed--even if the publisher doesn't offer it? Enquiring minds want to know.

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