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The question moving forward is: does RSS, or a protocol like it, have a place in the emerging Web3? Do we even need syndication feeds on a web platform defined by blockchains and cryptocurrencies? To find out, I spoke to a founder of a new protocol called RSS3 , “a next-generation feed standard that aims to support efficient and decentralized information distribution.” RSS3 has no relation to previous versions of RSS, but it was clearly inspired by existing RSS specifications.
However, syndication of content in a blockchain world is not easy, primarily because of the financialization of content platforms. In a nutshell, you have to pay to play — and not just publishers, but readers too. Commenting on or “liking” a blog post that lives on a blockchain requires an addition to the blockchain, which costs money (“gas fees” in Ethereum).
RSS3 is in active development, with the current stable version being v0.3.1. According to its GitHub page, v4 is “in hot discussion” currently.
When I first started looking into RSS3, it was unclear to me what its purpose was. Couldn’t a user of, say, a Web3 blog just use traditional RSS to syndicate their posts? But after chatting with Meteora, it became clear that an RSS3 feed wouldn’t be attached to a blog — but a crypto wallet.
“It’s basically a blogging platform that uses your ETH wallet as an account, and stores on Arweave. In that case, a blogger with an ETH wallet won’t need to register with Mirror, but just take the ETH wallet with him to Mirror and start blogging.
Since all articles are stored on Arweave, theoretically no one owns it and no one can censor it. Also, all articles are open and permissionless.
RSS3 creates a feed for any address, which would include a lot of interesting stuff — including, of course, Mirror blogs. Without RSS3, accessing Mirror’s articles can be very challenging for dApps.”
Meteora says there are multiple apps already being built on top of RSS3, including an app called Revery that allows users to connect as many wallets as they want — meaning you can aggregate all of your RSS3 feeds into one place.
Revery reminded me of an old Web 2.0 app called FriendFeed . Launched in 2007, FriendFeed was a way to aggregate all of your social networking and publishing feeds in one place — and it was much beloved by web geeks. Sadly, it was acquired by Facebook in 2009 and was basically never heard from again.
building @tellimer. #engineering, #machinelearning and #crypto
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