If it doesn’t have a feed

If it doesn’t have a feed it isn’t a podcast,” Dave Winer wrote and then defined further. This is what I thought at first he meant:

  • No feed? You won’t know something has been published until you go looking for it. The new publication sits stewing in its electron suit, wanting to go out, hoping a new friend calls, but nobody’s got the phone number. We have to walk up to each door every day and knock.
  • On the open web, information can be loaded almost instantly into multiple locations, in multiple formats, for use by new audiences, automatically. No feeds, and that grinds to a halt. No feeds, and you’ve lost the open web. You’re reduced to posting and reposting things by hand. You might as well do math without multiplying. Go ahead, calculate 2 to the tenth power by adding a whole lot of 2s together. Life’s too short, your hair is turning gray, and the ice caps are melting all around us.
  • No feeds? Then you lose access to some new information or rely on a company to gather it for you. They’ll charge for the service or sell your soul as data. Maybe both. Smile and pretend you like the deal.
  • No feeds? The aforementioned company will help choose the information for you. They’ll decide who belongs in your affinity group. You’ll never meet certain people, never learn from them, never get a little friendly pushback on your worst ideas, because you’ll never hear their voices. You won’t know certain interesting folks exist.
  • No feeds? Not really! Those same companies are probably using feeds left, right, and center. They’re just not letting you play in the same sandbox that they enjoy.
  • No feeds? A beautiful tool is made clumsy, a window is painted shut, a grocer refuses to stock spices. The world is made smaller.
  • No feeds? Then somebody clever is making a good living, you can bet.

Corrections and additions welcome.