For quite a while now, I’ve been looking and thinking about how a password protected feed could be accomplished. This seems to be quite a problem. One that does not have a solution yet.
Why would somebody want an authenticated RSS feed? I personally would like one for a private blog that I have. Other reasons would include bank balance inquiries, enterprise applications, email, etc. Can you think of other reasons? There are lots of them.
Others have made a strong case for them. Be sure to read the comments in each of these posts. They add a lot to the conversation.
Many blogs and feeds have already implemented private feeds. The problem is that it is difficult to find an online aggregator that supports them. I know there are a few out there. But why isn’t it standard. Why doesn’t Google Reader, my aggregator of choice support password protected feeds.
I understand it is a complex problem. There are solutions that I could implement in a few nights of coding that would give my private blog support for private feeds, but I want it to be in a secure way that all of my subscribers could add to their reader of choice.
Reading other’s ideas may give me something to aim towards. Joe Gregorio uses encryption to secure feeds. How about the suggestion to generate a private token per user in the form of http://example.com/feed/rss.php?auth=463124cb359783.543Â31382. Could OpenID be used in some way? As RSS becomes more ubiquitous, there will be various solutions so users and developers will be able to choose which solution is best for their needs. But I would like a solution sooner than that. Ideas?