Skip to content

Is RSS dead?

No, but some have made the point that subscribing is:

http://www.staynalive.com/2011/04/rss-is-not-dead-concept-of-subscribing.html

It is actually an interesting point.  There are people I know that I’ve tried to introduce to the wonders of RSS to no avail, however those same people are on Facebook and/or other sites.  Some people scoff at the idea of having to filter through news stories to see the ones they want (I was one of them), but will gladly have dozens if not hundreds of friends on Facebook/etc. and go through pages of status updates daily (I’m not one of them).

I believe the overall discussion in the article is about subscribing vs. following, or the concept that you would rather follow your friend’s actions to see what they feel is important versus following a third party.  Or if you would prefer, crowd sourcing.  If it’s important, interesting, or funny, somebody will comment on it.  Why read or even peruse every article from a blog or news feed when someone else can tell you if you should go see it?  Presumably somebody finds the information somehow, but in general you would just go to Facebook or wherever instead of sifting through the information yourself.

The thought has interesting….connotations.  Will you find out about the major stuff?  Sure, I would guess so.  But would you find out about the important stuff?  Ah, there’s the rub.  What’s important?  Do you trust that your friends will know what is important to you?

Personally, I would argue that subscribing and following really aren’t that different.  You know how I found the above article?  By searching for information about getting my Facebook news feed via RSS (a futile search, as it turns out).  I do want to know what my friends are doing/thinking, but going to the Facebook site, well, sucks.  RSS is a news aggregator.  It brings it all to one place, so I don’t have to load several different sites to find what I want.

But you might ask, what about having to filter through stuff I don’t want?  So I ask in return, what about your Facebook or Twitter stream?  I have to filter through that all the time.  I mean no offense to anybody, but I don’t really need/want to know everything that gets said by everybody on my friends list.  I scan it, and if I see anything interesting I stop to read more.

It’s the same story with RSS.  But you know what?  With a good RSS reader (like Google Reader), I can scan information from many sites in minutes (I probably have around 20 different feeds right now).  And I can do it without the bull that’s on the sites…..

….ah, now you probably know why they disabled RSS.