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."