The dictionary describes the noun wonk as an excessively studious student, a nerd or a geek. The modern connotation is more nuanced. Today wonk usually connotes a someone well versed or at least very interested in the details and rules.
The BoingBoing post describes Ben Hammersley as an RSS wonk- someone who know a great deal about the inner working and details of RSS. I suspect Dave Winer is the ultimate RSS wonk. Dave wrote the specs for RSS and along with Adam Curry created podcasting.
Typically I find the word policy very close to the word wonk. A policy wonk is person who closely follows government policy. Wonkette.com is a blog by a female, hence the -ette suffix, washington insider. If you ever think you know what is going on in Washington and the U.S. government visit the Wonkette for an alarming look at how much goes on behind the scenes.
The etymology of wonk is murky to say the least. According to Wikipedia its origin may be the reversal of the word know and was used in the British Navy to refer to an inexperienced sailor. I bet it was derogatory.
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