There is a war brewing between the blogger pioneers and Microsoft over the name for RSS.
On the other side stands Microsoft wanting to abandon the use of the three letter acronym that stands either for real simple syndication or RDF site summary. For now it calls RSS feeds 'web feeds', but the software developer is open to suggestions.
The general public doesn't know RSS, as recent studies have shown. There is no reason why we shouldn't consider changing the name.
And I'd like to argue that we actually should change the name that is used with the general public. Try explaining what RSS does to a person who doesn't know what the technology does, and you'll see that you are up for a challenge.
Winer has a point when he says that we shouldn't let Microsoft single-handedly change the name. That could lead to fragmentation of the technology and could impede its progress.
But his all-out refusal to even look at alternatives shows religiousness.
Scoble compares apples with oranges when he argues that the public over time will learn what RSS stands for, much like they learnt about DVDs and CDs. At least those acronyms make sense on a certain level. The average web user can't do anything with the term "syndication" in real simple syndication, let alone the geeky RDF site summary.
RSS deserves a better name. And we need Scoble and Winer to participate in the discussion to pick that name. Otherwise the risk of fragmentation just increase.
photo credit: Helmut Gevert
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