Jul 14, 2004

feedburner, flickr and feed splicing

If you subscribe to my feed, you may have noticed the today’s appearance of a few photos. These are the result of a very interesting partnership between Flickr and Feedburner. Feedburner now supports Flickr photo feed splicing: all I had to do was give Feedburner my Flickr username, and since Flickr outputs my public photos in Atom and several flavors of RSS, Feedburner grabs it, and merges it into my blog feed based on pubdate. Chocolate, meet peanut butter.

As FeedBurner CEO Dick Costolo points out in his post on the Burn This blog, the new feature points the way towards a much richer future for XML content delivery; one where the notions of syndication and aggregation begin to blur…

This new capability begins to expose part of the real vision for FeedBurner. There are many publishing/media/communication channels that make up an organization or individual’s digital personality. Currently, when we want to communicate our images, thoughts, bookmarks, favorite music, etc., we must find the appropriate publishing mechanism, and then separately find an appropriate sharing and communication mechanism.

This is why the content syndication space is so interesting. As I ranted about in a post on the Supernova conference blog, if you’re out to use RSS to replace email, you’ve got a long road ahead of you. But if you can use it to start to change the way that “publishers” and “subscribers” produce, distribute and consume information, then you’re on to something. Flickr and Feedburner are on to something.

(And for the three or four people who don’t know this already, and care about things like transparency and full disclosure, I’m an advisor to Feedburner, and a friend of Flickr.)