Have you ever seen someone fill in the periods for the abbreviation “RSS”? I hadn’t wither, until I saw this article from the New York Times (registration required). The main emphasis falls on the protocol’s possibilities for advertising, so we may overlook the author’s silence on the contribution of various developers to the history of RSS (actually, that silence is what caught Margaret’s attention, and she pointed me to the article) — they do, however, weigh in in favor of Dave Winer, that RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” (rather than “Rich Site Summary”). Money quotation: “We need to preserve all of the things that are good about R.S.S. feeds right now and also introduce the opportunity for publishers to monetize those feeds,” according to Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder.
I’m no fan of monetizing anything, though I’m more sympathetic than Wonderchicken to the idea of scrounging bloggers picking up some paper and iron for blogs they’d be writing anyway. But the corporate sound of the whole article reminded me of the ways that our conversation has changed since I first learned what I’d been missing online. And it would be willfully foolish of me to suppose, under the circumstances, that money hasn8’t changed anything.