On xml.com

By Erik Wilde
September 26, 2008 | Comments: 3

xml.com has been around for a long time now, and for a most of that time was considered to be one of the best information sources about XML technologies. It published articles and news and was very focused on people not just interested in XML applications, but in XML technologies. I wrote a few articles for xml.com, and the feedback was always good and clearly indicated that the readers of xml.com were highly knowledgeable and interested in all things XML.

Earlier this year, I joined the xml.com blogging team, and because I am blogging about XML anyway, it was an attractive way for me to get better visibility for my XML-related blogging. Shortly after I joined xml.com, it was announced that O'Reillly, the owner of xml.com, wanted to overhaul their complete blogging and news infrastructure, including xml.com. Industry-strength buzzwords were wielded, announcing to get rid of silos by using tagging.

Since then, things have been going downhill. xml.com looks abandoned (the articles on there do not even have a time stamp), the site's feed has not been updated for the past two months, the new xml-related page, based on the new tagging system, does not even have a feed associated with it, has completely lost the appearance of an edited site, and on the back-end there are unclear processes about how to tag, how articles are being published, and how articles are being selected for greater exposure. By default, articles are instantly published on oreilly.com/blogs, but I still haven't figured out how URIs are assigned. My articles, for example, all get broadcast.oreilly.com URIs, and to me that just does not sound very good.

On the upside, the new site now has author-specific feeds (mine is http://broadcast.oreilly.com/erik-wilde/atom.xml), but they do not seem to be linked anywhere, my author page for example does not link to that feed. Or is this my new author page? But it does not have the bio on it... very likely, nobody really knows...

Why am I writing this? I am really interested to figure out how many people are still reading xml.com and are still caring about it. Please speak up, xml.com was a great information resource and instead of completely dissolving it, maybe it can be kept alive! For me, for example, for all practical purposes as a reader, xml.com has been dead for the past two months, because I read the feed, which is dead. How are you reading this? On the xml.com Web site ? On the xml.oreilly.com Web site? If through a feed, which one and how did you find it?

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The only option I've found that works is to subscribe to those authors that I'm interested in individually, through their author feed; and the only way I know about the author feed is because I'm an author and I was told what the author feed URL is.

btw, this article was vetoed by o'reilly to appear on xml.com, even though the xml.com editor wanted to publish it. apparently, somebody higher up in the food chain prefers to continue the current strategy of assuming that at some point in time things will actually work... maybe they will (even though so far there are few signs of structural improvements), but i am really asking myself how badly all of that will have hurt o'reilly and more specifically, xml.com.

After finding lots of great articles at xml.com, I subscribed to the RSS feed on xml.com. Having not seen many new postings via that feed recently, I came to xml.oreilly.com and found this. If there's a way to keep an xml-oriented feed going, I'd appreciate it. Thanks to the authors like you, Dan McCreary, Kurt Cagle, Jeni Tennison, etc. for lots of food for thought.

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