RSS is Dead, Long Live RSS?

Matrice de services autour du RSS
Image by loic_hay via Flickr

I have to admit that my jury is still out on RSS.  I understand it, have taught classes about it and have used several different readers over the years.  So I found it interesting that @lrainie retweeted 2 blog articles about RSS today.

First one, The Top 5 Reasons RSS Readers Went Wrong, pointed out very good reasons that RSS exerpience just isn’t what it should be.  I completely agreed with #2 & #5 – “One of the things I like about shared links in Twitter & Facebook is that I can start or read a conversation about the story and otherwise give feedback (i.e. “like” or retweet) to the publisher of the news as part of the experience.” – “The process of adding feeds still takes too many steps. If I see your Twitter profile and think you’re worth following, I click the “follow” button and I’m done.”  I’m not thinking that Twitter is the answer for everything but they do make it easy to “subscribe” and share.

The second article, If You Think RSS is Dead Then That’s Your Loss and It’s a Big One,  of course takes the other side of things.  My feelings is that Marshall is entitled to his opinion as much as Dare and Sam are entitled to theirs.

My jury is still out.  I use Google Reader and have quite a few feeds but to be honest I barely read them anymore.  I pay attention to my Twitter stream and Friendfeed.  I follow people like @lrainie, @Mashable, @rww, and @Jeremiah Owyang that give me perspective on the social web and the Internet in general.  I follow people like @MLx, @baldgeekinmd, @msauers, @libraryman, @lorireed, @pollyalida and others that keep me up on my profession (Libraries & Training).  I follow people like @nengard, @ranginui, @wizzyrea, @Miromurr, @gmcharlt, @magnusenger, @nirak and more that keep me up on things going on in the Open Source community.

I don’t know if RSS is dead but for me the social web and looking to people I know and/or trust (compare to some news agency) is MY way of keeping on top of things.

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6 Responses to RSS is Dead, Long Live RSS?

  1. Chester says:

    I definitely use Google Reader for both professional and personal reading. For me, Twitter tends to supplement my RSS intake.

  2. ileaneb says:

    Thanks for our insights on the topic. I don’t use a reader, because I always thought that it would be too clunky and too much trouble, so I’m glad to hear that their usage might be dying off. I’ll check your twitter “followings” and see you in the twittosphere soon. I’m glad I found your blog too.
    Ms. Ileane

  3. Laura Norvig says:

    Nice post! I’m with you as far as the M.O. that I get plenty of pointers to great content and resources through social media (for me that’s Friendfeed more than Twitter, but Friendfeed is bringing in Twitter so it’s all the same).

    I am giving Google Reader a second chance now, though, because they’ve added so many cool features recently.

    The larger point though, is that RSS obviously is not dead because so much of the web relies on RSS to move content around from place to place. That’s not going away anytime soon.

    • mlibrarianus says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I love my Google Reader. I just am finding that for ME using Twitter and Friendfeed (and even Facebook sometimes) is quickly becoming my RSS aggregator. I get overwhelmed with the amount of feeds that I haven’t read so I wind up not reading them. Since Twitter is always up (and I monitor multiple accounts) that is my real time aggregator. I do love using Google Reader for my Twitter stream achieving. Can’t tell you how many tweets I’ve missed but I can review quickly in Google Reader. Guess what works for one person doesn’t always for another – thank goodness the social web is like the world – different strokes for different folks.

  4. Bobbi says:

    I love Twitter for real time info, but some days I just don’t have the opportunity to be on it as much as I would like so I miss a lot. Or I pop on for a few minutes and don’t have the time to pursue links. With my RSS readers that information is there for me when I’m ready to deal with it. For conversation Twitter is great, but for me, for information, RSS is a tool that works for me, on my schedule when I need it.

    • mlibrarianus says:

      Glad it works for you Bobbi and I’m sure you are not in the minority here either. I personally find that once I let my feeds reach a certain number of unreads I just don’t read them. SO I know I’m missing out on things. Since I have Twitter up all the time and Friendfeed often these have become more of a real time aggregator for me. I do miss a lot – either way – but the social web is where I live and breathe. I’ve even gotten to the point where I love getting my feed in my email. RWW sends me an email with the articles right in it – call me lazy but I love that format rather than going to my RSS reader. Again, love that different things work for different people….for me RSS readers maybe a bit passe.

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