10 reasons why RSS is still the bedrock of the social web

I must admit I've been thinking occasionally about whether my RSS feeds were still useful to me, what with the advent of Twitter, FriendFeed and other real-time tools/platforms. it seems that this is something Sam Diaz at ZDNet has been thinking too.

In response Dave Winer has posted a great article unpicking Sam's post and in the process has restored my faith in RSS (if I ever lost it). Go read it for yourself here and then subscribe to Dave's RSS feed for more great content.

Two key points to take from Dave's post include:

  • "My newspaper doesn't tell me how many articles I haven't read going
    back to the date of my birth. I bet it would be in the millions. Why
    should I care. This was the worst idea ever in news readers."
    < —– totally agree. This actually encourages me not to read stuff: when I have a large backlog of unread content I simple 'Mark all as read'
  • "If all the RSS on the planet were all of a sudden to stop updating (key
    point) the news would stop flowing. Any news guy or gal who thinks they
    could get by without RSS — think this through a bit more. We all love
    the Internet, but don't shut off your gas and electric because your
    computer and router wouldn't work without electricity. Same with RSS
    and news. RSS is how the news flows, whether you see it or not. If not
    RSS, something exactly like RSS."

Tags: RSS, Dave Winer


  1. Totally agree that RSS is not dead in any way, shape or form.
    It’s used, and will be continued to be used by, information consumers in readers, and by information aggregators and publishers.
    Social networking etc does provide a flow of information, but it’s of a different type, which can be complimentary, or a replacement for each individual – and that, in itself, does little to suggest RSS is going to decline. It’s only peaked at 5-12% of internet users anyway!
    (And how many Facebook pages are being fed by RSS as Notes even as I type? Or Tweets coming from Twitterfeed?)

  2. Thanks for sharing. I’m a huge fan of RSS since I bought an iPod Touch.

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