RSS Stimulus

Its been busy for us here at Feedity. Despite the global economic downturn, we are seeing a decent growth in the usage of data delivery solutions. The New Features Poll gave us an insight into what you (our users) want. We are planning to launch some new useful features in the coming weeks. What we are also planning ahead, is an overhaul of our Feed Builder module, so that it’s more interactive and easy-to-use. We’ll post more on that in the coming weeks.

There has been a common consensus among the data liberators that government web sites should focus on RSS, not redesigns. What’s exciting to see with the new US government, is its keen interest in opening up all sorts of data and statistics to the general public. For example, the implementation instructions [pdf] for the new US Stimulus Bill require that each government agency report the money it gives out in RSS:

For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription.

The document is clear to state that the items in the feed can’t simply be unstructured text, but have to be reusable structured data. A proposal (and guideline) such as this, is a great effort. It should be followed by all government agencies (and even in the corporations), around the world, to keep the public informed.

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