Just a meme I’m still kicking around at the moment, but it goes like this:
With the massive uptake of RSS (a content delivery mechanism that doesn’t include presentational information) does presentation matter anymore?
I can remember spending months and months working in the team that was involved in the redesign of the BBC News website a few years ago. Everyday, the values that went into that redesign are being made more redundant as more people turn to RSS to receive their BBC News.
Does this just mean the importance of presentation moves up the stack – from content promotion to feed promotion?
Or does it go out of the window entirely? With RSS there is presentation. It’s just user-selected presentation – either explicitly through a custom stylesheet or implicitly through the choice of newsreader used (and it’s look and feel is uses to render the content). Either way, it’s no longer under the control of the content provider, so why bother?
Sure, in 2005 for the average site most people are still looking at HTML pages, and so presentation is still important for now. But I’m thinking about pro-orientated sites now, and mainstream sites in the future.