Thursday, September 3, 2009

RSS is Dead. Oh Really?

Really, REALLY BIG RSS feed buttonImage by HiMY SYeD / photopia via Flickr
There has been a number of blogs talking about the death of RSS. Earlier today, while scanning my RSS feeds in Google Reader, I fell upon the following story, "Oh, RSS Is Definitely Dead Now: Feedburner CEO Dick Costolo To Become Twitter COO."

According to this story, Dick Costolo is leaving Feedburner for Twitter. Based on his record, he has the ability to establish scalable infrastructures, which is something Twitter desperately needs.

As I understand the issue, Steve Gillmor wrote a blog back in May entitled, "Rest in Peace, RSS" where he explained how Twitter, Facebook, and Friendfeed have made RSS obsolete. The one time powerhouse is encouraged to "gracefully step back [and] blend into the scenery."

Maybe I lack the foresight of more experienced early adopters, but I do not see RSS going away anytime soon. Yes, Twitter has real time information, Facebook has the friends, and Friendfeed has the conversations, but I find that I spend a great deal of time in my RSS Reader. Much of what I share on Twitter, Facebook, and Friendfeed comes directly from Google Reader. Doesn't that mean something?

As the IT Manager of Web Services at North Carolina Central University, I spend a great deal of time on social networks, but I miss a lot of real time information. There are moments where I am in meetings, completing assignments, or traveling between work and home. During these times I am largely disconnected from the real time phenomenon. It is when I get settled and back in Google Reader that I am able to catch up on the latest news.

Sure, it may be minutes to even hours behind, depending on how quick I return, but I get it. Have you ever tried to go back and review old Tweets? To me, it is a lost cause.

Do I think RSS is dead? Definitely not. I suspect that advancements in Google Reader, for example, will only strengthen the case for RSS' continued existence. For additional thoughts on the value of RSS and Google Reader, check out "How to Share Interesting Stuff from the Web Using Google Reader and Friendfeed" and "Could Google Reader Become the Next Friendfeed?"

What do you think about the future of RSS?

Until next time...


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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