The latest trend over in syn_promo seems to be, ``gosh, when we add RSS feeds of sites, we'd better make sure the author is ok with that first!'' This because some doofus had a hissy fit when he found
I think this is completely silly, but I can also see that this isn't going to go away: as time goes on, and as RSS gets more popular, more people are going to be bitchy about who aggregates it for whom, and are going to bend over backwards to break things (like the oh-so-many sites that already provide crippled RSS feeds that include only the first few words of the entry, making you click through to actually get any coherent content.)
My prediction: LiveJournal in particular, and RSS-aggregation sites in general, will cease to be useful as a tool for combining the updates from many different sites. It's the late-90s ``portal'' game all over again, but in reverse: where it used to be that people like Netscape and Yahoo and Alta Vista were trying to prevent you from ever visiting anyone else's server, now all the little guys are trying to get you to hit their server instead of viewing a cached copy elsewhere (which is mystifying, in these days of zero banner-ad revenue.)
And yet, it's really convenient to have one place to go to read all of your subscriptions.
So when that happens, people like me (those with the time and skill to do so) will stop using publicly-available web sites like LJ to aggregate things, and will end up setting our home pages to be local files instead. When it comes to
Shame for everyone else, though: the folks who don't have the time or skill to do this kind of thing.
Like Gilmore said, "The Internet treats censorship as damage, and routes around it."
(Yeah, censorship isn't really the right word, whatever. Perhaps a more apt quote would be the Jeff Goldblum character in Jurassic Park: ``life finds a way.'' You'll often hear cypherpunk weenies with poorly-thought-out philosophies trot out ``information wants to be free'' as some kind of pseudo-socialist Utopian vision, but the point is, information ``wants'' to be free in the same way nature ``abhors'' a vacuum: it's not some moral view, it's just the natural state of affairs. It's the path of least resistance. It is ``the sound of inevitability.'')