Update: John Robb's FUDeflection. Or redirection. Too soon to tell. The SOAP opera continues.
As someone with zero investment in RSS or Echo, I have enjoyed the past week or so from afar. Mostly waiting for Dave Winer to speak up, which he did, and did well. Now Jon Udell adds his take, which is not surprisingly insightful, but is surprisingly sarcastic.
He pulls it off. Here's the crux, though, in his more typically pragmatic style...
Anyway, Dave showed everybody how to use RSS. That's his crowning achievement in my book. Not the format...
Now that the dam has broken, Dave has endorsed the new effort. It must have been an incredibly hard thing to do. I have a teenage daughter and when it's time for her to leave the nest, in a couple of years, I hope I'll handle that transition as graciously as Dave is handling this one. Meanwhile, the Echo designers are -- not surprisingly -- converging on a core that looks a lot like RSS. So far they've discovered that a blog entry has a link, an author, a publication date, and one or more semantically-equivalent content items. Any day now, they'll conclude that it also has a description. There's really not much mystery about this stuff.
I did not realize what was coming with Echo when I reacted positively to Steve Gillmor's take on Microsoft and RSS a couple weeks ago. Of course when I was suggesting RSS might be supplanted over time, I did not think it would be for apparently political reasons. I certainly did not think the effort would begin any time soon.
My reaction to Echo is along the lines of many others: RSS (regardless of its many forms and politics, I mean the collective sense of "RSS") has just in the last months taken a spot in the zeitgeist. My god, it takes ages for these concepts to make their way into large corporations. And now we have to explain Echo? I'm not going to rush that one.