Taken from Lee Gomes "Portals" 10/04/2004 in the Wall Street Journal.
"What is it about the future that leaves us unable to ever quite guess how its going to turn out? The question comes up, this time, because of the recent, much discussed ascent of Web logs, or blogs. The blogging phenomenon illustrates how some very smart people ended up being both very right and very wrong about a future just beyond the horizon.
A year ago, blogs -outside of the small circle of people who actually wrote and read them- were regarded as the daily diaries of peole with no real lives to chronicle in the first place. No more...For historians of technical predictions, blogs are noteworthy because of what the reveal aobut the evolution of something called XML.
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It's basically a format that two computers can use to exchange information.
Five or so years ago, XML was going to be technology's Next Big Thing. If you remember Microsoft's .Net initiative...XML was the catalyst the wold enable .Net...
Fast forword now to something called RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, with is a technology that bloggers use to, in a manner of speaking, broadcast their writing throughout the Internet. RSS, it turns out, is actually a kind of XML.
Because of blogging, RSS is very hot right now, and it's spreading quickly...Last week, Yahoo gave RSS a big embrace: If something is available in RSS, you'll be able to put it on your My Yahoo page.
In other words, thanks to blogs, XML-in the form of RSS- has finally arrived...
One issue to watch with the current growth spurt of RSS is what it will do to traditional Web economics. For example, some political junkies...spend much of their time these days using Web site called Bloglines to follow election oriented blogs. Because of its felicitous use of RSS technology, Bloglines will often let you read all of the entries from some very popular blogs without leaving the bloglines site- in other words, without vistiong each blogs Web pages individually.
What will happen when bloggers realize that RSS may lead to fewer eyeballs at their sites?