Atom, especially the Publishing Protocol, is moving into the evangelism stage, since the committee work’s almost done and there are plenty of implementations. Here’s why I think Atom is important. If you look at Dave Sifry’s numbers, the growth of the blogosphere is astounding; looking past all the fluff and chaff, there are somewhere between five and ten million people out there who care enough to contribute to the Net once a week or better. That may sound like a lot, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough. Here at Sun, in a blogging-friendly tech-savvy culture, maybe 5% of the people post regularly. So I look at the number of people using the Net and I wonder: “Why there aren’t 50 million, instead of five million, people contributing every week?” The answer: “Because it’s too hard”. We can fix that. Here’s the Atom dream: A “Publish” button on everything. On every word processor and email reader and web browser and cellphone and PDA and spreadsheet and photo-editor and digicam and outliner and sales-force tracker. Really, everywhere. If it doesn’t have a “Publish” button, it’s broken.