Why replace RSS? Two reasons jump out at me;
- RSS is a fairly bloated specification. It is a bit verbose and the file sizes for even a small blog can get relatively large quickly. JSON is, by its very nature, a bit more succinct. This would result in faster load times, easier caching, etc.
What can be publish a river? Twitter, blogs, news, applications — you name it. Anything with “a feed”. Creating a JSONP river file thingy should be pretty straight forward. Here is the spec.
When I get a little bit of time I’ll create a JSONP file for riverBrowser for all Barley-powered web sites. Although I love RSS I can see how rivers could replace the now-dated specification.
Update: Dave Winer says I’m wrong about “rivers” replacing RSS. Looks like I have more reading to do. I’ll update this post when I figure it out.