Conceptually, most people think of the web as a collection of sites with each site containing individual pages. The page is the atom of the web, the smallest unit of the web. Sites and pages are connected by creating hyperlinks between pages. This basic paradigm has been evolving over the past few years.

Syndication – sharing content across multiple web sites – has been around for a long time. It offers many benefits including:

  • Improved efficiency because content is only being produced once
  • Better version control because all sites are updated simultaneously
  • Mitigate the risk of inaccurate content

RSS has made syndication simple. It provides an easy way to share content and this sharing is not done at the page level, but at an even smaller level. Related sites can now be connected through syndicated RSS feeds rather than links.

RSS has enabled the growth of the read/write web. For content creators, it provides a simple standard to free your content. For content consumers, it provides an easy way to keep up with dynamic content.

A new paradigm is required that moves beyond the page. Web analytics can no longer rely on the “page view” as a basic web metric. Assistive technology needs to adapt to AJAX and other technologies that break the page paradigm. Syndication and micro-content is the future. In the words of Adam Green –

“Web content is external rather than internal. Instead of a website being a “place” where data “is” and other sites “link to”, a site is a source of data to be remixed collectively both internal and external to a given “site””.

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