Disposable RSS please

I just tracked a shipment that’s coming from Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tomorrow I’ll probably want to track it, and the next day, and maybe even the next.

Each time, I’ll have to go to my email in-box, copy the tracking number, open a web browser, go to dhl.com, paste the tracking number, and click a button named Track.

Bleh. Double bleh.

Technology is supposed to make my life easier. It’s supposed to take care of the stupid stuff so I don’t have to.

I need disposable RSS. We all need disposable RSS.

Here’s how it could work
As you create an RSS feed in your browser or aggregator, it would ask you how long you’d like to track it. You could choose from 1 day to forever.

When the time’s up, it goes in your RSS trash bin. You could, if you choose, retrieve it from their and reactivate it, but the trash is mainly there as a personal record of things you tracked in the past … in case you ever want to go back and check.

Simple, easy, quick … tracking what you want for as long as you want, and then disappearing from your main feeds view without so much as an “are you sure” dialog box.

Now that’s technology.

. . .
. . .

No sooner did I have this brainwave and wrote it up than I wondered: haven’t other people had this problem? Indeed, they have.

Simon Dickson has a slightly different approach – he wants a separate RSS aggregagator for the temporary stuff. I’m not so sure that I want multiple aggregators, but I agree with his basic premise.

Another take on it is feed grazing, or a river of feeds. Forget the cumbersome process of subscribing entirely.

On-demand feeds are also something that is getting some attention.

[tags] feeds, rss, disposable rss, on-demand, john koetsier [/tags]

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Hi john,

    Thanks for the trackback. I’m into this idea of disposable feeds aswell. It’s not hard to imagine many use cases particularly where we have these temporary commercial relationships etc.

    I can also imagine uses cases in the future (when feed clients are ubiquitous) where we might have personal requirements for feeds, eg. build a team feed for deseminating news about practices/cancellations during the season (which can easily be eaten by mobile clients etc), but which has no useful life beyond.

    Anyway, you might be interested in http://publi.sh which I built to try and simply serve these types of needs. I don’t run the site anymore, but it’s still interesting.