Bennett Kobb

I didn’t know I was entering a contest!

At any rate, to understand the history of RSS it is necessary to credit the seminal work of Dave Winer of Scripting.com. As Tim O’Reilly wrote:

“RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer’s “Really Simple Syndication” technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape’s “Rich Site Summary”, which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows.

“Netscape lost interest, and the technology was carried forward by blogging pioneer Userland, Winer’s company. In the current crop of applications, we see, though, the heritage of both parents.”

Userland Software produced the first real personal blogging application with integrated RSS: Radio Userland. Its users were churning out RSS feeds and syndicating them long before CNN or other mainstream media had heard of RSS.

Today, few remember Radio Userland — which had nothing to do with radio — and probably fewer tried to learn its arcane programming language UserTalk. But this product, and its brother Manila, really introduced the idea of instant web publishing without writing HTML or uploading files.

Dave’s choice of bright orange to signify XML and RSS are found everywhere in RSS logos. The standard microformat for RSS readers, OPML, is his invention.