Rest in Peace, RSS

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ripIt’s time to get completely off RSS and switch to Twitter. RSS just doesn’t cut it anymore. The River of News has become the East River of news, which means it’s not worth swimming in if you get my drift.

I haven’t been in Google Reader for months. Google Reader is the dominant RSS reader. I’ve done the math: Twitter 365 Google Reader 0. All my RSS feeds are in Google Reader. I don’t go there any more. Since all my feeds are in Google Reader and I don’t go there, I don’t use RSS anymore.

Of course, my friends use RSS, or they used to. Pretty much every blog has an RSS feed, and aggregators like TechMeme spider RSS feeds as well as the original pages on the sites. I’ve wired up TCIT, the Gillmor Gang feed, and my YouTube feed on my FriendFeed, but that’s FriendFeed using RSS, not me. I believe FriendFeed outputs RSS, but I don’t use it.

RSS changed the way we processed information, by turning search into push and content into people. Before RSS, I patrolled the Web for news. Information didn’t exist until I found it. RSS let me identify people likely to write interesting things, and soon I stopped looking and switched to receiving. In this world, partial feeds were irritating, taking me out of my new pristine think tank and back to the hunt and peck methodology. Once back on the site, the goal was to keep me there, or link to partner sites.

This disconnect drove me away from partial feeds and toward the new owners of the blogosphere — the deep information space of those feeds that respected the reader container. From NetNewsWire on the Mac to Bloglines to Google Reader, I swam in the brisk waters of the RSS river, only returning to the classic Web from links embedded in posts or email newsletters. The fulltexters won, and in the process, sowed the seeds of RSS’s decline.

As fulltexting carved out a large percentage of the value of the day’s news, navigating outside the comfortable walls of RSS required some additional value proposition. Comments were that attractor, and particularly the active threads where the readers could interact with the authors. The result: The Statusphere. And in reaction, the need for social management of the ecosystem.

Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed – whatever they grew from, they morphed into a realtime CMS for the emerging media. Twitter, not RSS, became the early warning system for new content. Facebook, not RSS, became the social Rolodex for events, casual introductions to RSS’ lifeblood, the people behind the feeds. FriendFeed, not RSS, captured the commentsphere. RSS got locked out of its own party.

Today, RSS is a shell of its former self, casually subsumed as the transport for 140+ content into the social stream. There, RSS items are fed into aggregators and husked for their behavioral signals, packaged as Tweets and sold for pennies on the whuffie dollar. The mainstream media, once cowed by the fulltexters, now masquerades as blog sites and competes for shortened URLs alongside the bloggers they deride under their breath.

I thought I’d miss RSS once Twitter took over, remembering how powerful a wave of innovation it triggered. Certainly it’s still here, burned into the circuits of the network, the memes coursing through its veins. But in the age of abundance it fostered, the core value has shifted from inspiration to the inspired, to the people behind the ideas.

The race for realtime is already won. Like the long shot in the Kentucky Derby, realtime has swept past the field as though the rest were sleep-walking. Realtime is the time for artists, for interpreting the stream and sending deeply nuanced signals with humor, music, respect for the dialogue but none for the chattering of the false debates of the cable networks.

This is the world RSS created. Now it needs to gracefully step back, blend into the scenery and find a new home in the rich depth we are looking for amid the noise. Decrying the tumult of realtime is a fool’s errand; it’s like complaining life is short. Instead, as Dylan said:

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young.

  • Sameer Patel

    Good stuff Steve.

    RSS was much more effective as plumbing, yet, it was forced down the users throat as a consumption mechanism. Few know what RSS is, let alone an RSS reader and that certainly did not help.
    As you correctly say, we needed services like FriendFeed and Techmeme to really show the power of RSS as a transport utility, as opposed to last mile consumption.

    I wrote about this in the context of business usage:

    • Mazhar Halen

      I am sure you are not using Outlook 2007 in Enterprise environment.

      I find RSS to be very useful. It provides me full contents with ads in my inbox.

      Twitter for me is more of a pebble on water, bouncing until blog sphere and media sea allow.

      How can you read whole article without having to click and open the browser?

      perhaps i might be missing some thing here.

      Outlook 2007 allows me to skip through various blogs fast and much more efficiently.

      Twitter may be useful when you want to keep in touch with a couple of guys (humans) but definitely not useful for reading blogs.

      • Ridiculous

        this article is nothing more than a flame bait – ridiculously stupid.

      • Tomas

        I second that… senseless…

      • Pierce

        In other news techcrunch fully supports this idea and RSS is being removed from the site because the 300,000+ people using it are obviously wrong?

      • Jason

        +1: Stupid article. Will be amusing to see this already irrelevant technology journalist continue to do his job with twitter as his only source.

      • Dario Meli

        Total flame bait and it worked perfectly. Over 200 comments and counting. Well done!

      • JR

        omg, written by an old man purporting to be a young man who is sooo radical, totally ludicrous. yeah i agree twitter is good, but it to be a total replacement of news feeds when it is at such a to-be-refined stage is hyperbole, at its very least. almost as ridiculous as arringtons infamous ‘Twitter!’ post. calm down gillmor, u wont get too far on twitter’s one-half-and-hard-to-find-the-other-half conversations. there’s a better way coming, just take it easy

      • JR

        honestly, i just had to stop reading this man’s kak, “I swam in the brisk waters of the RSS river” u what mate!? i was actually feeling sick, i couldnt get to end, so melodramatic

      • Sash

        totally agree. to think that Steve is not clued up enough to realize the only way to effectively track keywords on twitter is through RSS is unbelievable. i guess he just sits in front of his TweetDeck and watches the feed full time, haha !

      • Loren

        As many have said before, this article is ridiculous, and obviously flame-bait. I do enjoy some of Techcrunch’s articles that are more entertainment/amusing rather than news, but this is straight-up junk. I am a bit disappointed to see an article like this.

      • Agreed

        Agreed, sounds like it was written by a 5 year-old.

        I haven’t been in Google Reader for months. Google Reader is the dominant RSS reader. I’ve done the math: Twitter 365 Google Reader 0. All my RSS feeds are in Google Reader. I don’t go there any more. Since all my feeds are in Google Reader and I don’t go there, I don’t use RSS anymore. Mom picked me up from school today. Mom drives a silver Volvo.

      • marc

        RSS will slowly disappear be hey, let’s not write about it for it might anger some.

      • oronm

        i third that!

      • Buzzby

        Agreed – apples and oranges and further more I got so many useless interruptions from twits, I ditched it.

      • Farnham

        Maybe separate client RSS Readers are dead, or unnecessary, since RSS is part of all browsers and most portals, but RSS dead? Might as well say HTML is dead. Not used as standalone much, but RSS and HTML and XML are some of the bones needed to keep the sexier stuff (and fluff) from collapsing on the floor as a glob of amorphous, gelatinous goop. Flame rating – 5

      • Jason

        Yeah I agree.. I did not like this article. It was very poorly written.

      • leo

        nice linkbait…
        this article is ridiculous²

      • Jon Busby

        I agree – this article is completely retarded (and thus flamebait). Well done Techcrunch.. you are now REMOVED from my RSS reader… ironic really…

      • Ru

        Unbelievable, wish I could adequately describe how much nonsense I think this is, really make it clear how unbiasedly crazy I think this post is.

      • Sonburn

        If it wasn’t for RSS, I wouldn’t be reading what you had to say at TechCrunch.

      • plunge

        And TechCrunch’s relevance continues to dwindle..

      • RSS missed the bus

        RSS missed the bus, it could have been doing what twitter is doing now. Like “feed” from celebrities, NASA, or social circle etc.

        Maybe if it had html interface to its xml feed…

      • duran

        man, I needed a laugh on friday.

        yes this article is flame bait, and the guy obviously has no idea what he’s talking about.

      • Pallab

        Nice linkbait.
        And obviously I dont quite agree.
        RSS is fine tuned according to my interests. With twitter thats not quite possible. Yes, I follow people with common interests, but even then they like a lot of stuff which I dont care about (say Football). Twitter is good..its an excellent source of new info..but I still mainly rely on RSS to stay updated.

      • Arrington

        Stupid..I fire you!

      • Jason Keath

        I think your understanding of the word dead is a problem. Work on that.

      • i shat my pants
      • rick

        When will techcrunch die like CNET or some other I used to be somebody site?

        Pages and pages of twitter & idiotic articles such as this. Please die a swift death.

        I do feel validated for not visiting this site in 2 weeks as no real non-twitter content is here

      • MastersDegreeBusiness

        jajaja funny but its the true.

      • Michael Lang

        I found this article in my RSS feed. I would not have found it otherwise. I have accounts on twitter, delicious, and facebook; but nobody in by networks have shared this article on their wall/stream, and neither will I.

    • Falafulu Fisi

      Sameer said…
      Few know what RSS

      Hehe, I am one of those.

    • Bernard

      I don’t agree TechCrunch! RSS is alive and well suited to my needs, especially since I discovered Feedly for Firefox.

      The issue with RSS is that users tend to oversubscribe and end up with a lot of unwanted junk. The Feedly way is to organise that in a beautiful digest format with ability to mark your favourite blogs.

      Twitter on the other hand is available in a variety of applications that aren’t always complete. I have resorted to Tweetie for Mac that handles multiple accounts beautifully but not groups.

      And Twitter comes a lot more junk! At least with RSS I chose to subscribe, where as Twitter I have no choice in knowing what my favourite blogger is having for dinner. Alas I still find them junk tweets amusing.

      • Cory

        I completely disagree with the article and completely agree with Bernard. There is a lot more junk on Twitter, and stuff flies by too fast. I use Netvibes to aggregate all of my news sources via RSS. Twitter is for my friends – RSS though Netvibes is for my news, and I will never, ever want to combine the two.

      • Denise

        I agree with Bernard and Cory. I use RSS in Outlook 2007 to keep up with this and other related industry sites. At home, Twitter keeps me up to date on my personal interests.

      • Jay Garrett

        I think it’s another one of those – damned if you do; damned if you don’t cases.

        If you have a site with RSS it also makes sense for people to subscribe to email updates as well as Twitter and possibly Facebook, etc.

        It is becoming more important for the supplier to cater for how the consumer wants to receive the items rather than the supplier dictating how the consumer WILL get it.

        In my case, my Twitter followers do outnumber my feed subscribers.


      • Jay Garrett

        I obvioulsy meant “If you have a site with RSS it also makes sense for people to HAVE THE CHOICE TO subscribe via email updates as well as Twitter and possibly Facebook, etc.”


    • Leo

      anyone know how to automatically submit posts to twitter? like a tutorial.

      boos helps me get down the stairs with style

      • Ian Betteridge

        I think Steve is making the classic mistake of taking the way *he* uses a technology and assuming that’s the way that *everyone* uses it.

        Sometimes, information finds me. In that context, Twitter works. But for some things, I want to actively get information – and in that context, RSS and feed readers work.

      • Jay Garrett

        If you use WordPress there’s a plug-in I use called Twitfeed :0)


    • Pravs J

      RSS & Twitter are different products and cannot be treated as alternates to each other.

      RSS is loved for its ability to Auto subscribe/publish content to/from Sites / Blogs. The way information has been standardized on RSS is yes to be achieved with Twitter.

      RSS feed content lasts more, unlike a ‘Tweet’ that is lost in the public-timeline practically in less than 5 seconds.

      Twitter will give you all tweets, even the ones you dont want. All links (small urls) without telling you where they belong and what they have., compare the same with RSS – you have the content right in there.

      And hey.. Twitter too gives you a RSS feed for your followers – :-))

      RSS is here to stay (for long); but has not got its credit.

      • Salut Finlande

        My thoughts exactly.

    • George St John

      This article address’s just one point of view. Many people do not use twitter and it takes a certain mindset (closed) to accept that professional news comes best via twitter.

      The web is consolidating, see The main use of RSS enables others to professionally aggregate the news for sophisticated users.

    • fun watching the chaos Greatest Hits Vol. 2

      Dylan also said he ain’t goin’ around Maggie’s farm no more.


      Who cares about Twitter either?

  • Dave Winer

    Nicely written piece, and you can tell that you love RSS, which of course I do too. :-)

    I’d like to get on the record predicting that RSS is just as dead as HTTP and SMTP are.

    It’s part of the infrastructure. I’m actively writing software, and every day that involves parsing and generating RSS, because it is the way apps communicate with each other about change.

    Google Reader took us in a bad direction, made promises for RSS that it couldn’t keep (in line with Sameer’s comment). Of course it’s not actually dead, software never was alive so it’s no more or less dead now that it was last week, month or year.

    You know it would be interesting if one of the industry conferences invited me to speak about RSS someday. It’s never happened. This is the 10th year of RSS, we’ve learned a lot. I would love to share some of it, but this industry has never wanted to hear what I have to say. Or so it seems.

    • Jay Cuthrell

      The true power of RSS is the ability to ignore the sheer volume of information more easily.


      • Craig Murphy

        I agree, however I believe that it is very much easier to ignore the sheer volume of information using Twitter.

        I use FeedDemon and frequently feel guilt when using the Panic button, often leaving unread items until I have a few spare hours at airport lounges, etc.

        Twitter, IMHO, has little in the way of “I missed your tweet” guilt, if I missed it, I missed it…you can always re-tweet it if it’s that important. Similarly, others will re-tweet important messages over a different time-frame, hence I’m more likely to see it.


    • Anil

      The East River is very clean these days. It’s still busy enough with shipping traffic that most people don’t swim in it, but I see people fishing there every day, and many eat their catch. Let’s not perpetuate outdated ideas about the level of pollution of particular flows.

      • Steve Gillmor

        I once sailed up the East River with my father, and found myself parked at the bow with a long pike to fend off “fish” and other objects. Jumping into the river was frowned upon by authorities due to the high level of debris and bacterial substances, if you get my drift. Glad to hear it’s better, but I’ll still pass.

      • rainier seidel

        yea we get your drift. nonetheless, this flowery piece reads like you might have taken that dip after all.

        might as well say move over indoor plumbing here comes twitter.

      • Nick Berg

        Hey Steve, I was following your post but all I was able to read in 140 characters was:

        “It’s time to get completely off RSS and switch to Twitter. RSS just doesn’t cut it anymore. The River of News has become the East River of ”

        Can you please tweet the rest, 140 characters at a time, until I have enough to read the entire article? Thanks, asshole!

    • Brian Sloane

      I completely agree with Dave. RSS is here to stay as a plumbing for the transfer of information between applications.

      RSS as a concept for consumption of information by the end user may be on its way out, in turn being replaced by a layer above and beyond (Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed)…. but services like these will continue to rely on an underlying infrastructure driven by RSS. I continue to see new applications leverage RSS for this purpose and still see the value it provides.

    • F. Andy Seidl

      Spot on, Dave! I’m guessing Steve is trying to get a rise out of everyone (which he is) and that he can’t possibly be as naive as this post makes him sound.

      Yea, yea, Twitter is booming, and I am a HUGE fan of Twitter (see, but the world wide adoption of (and investment in) RSS is staggering.

      Back in 1989 I sold my PC-based version control company to a mainframe based software giant. Friends in my industry warned me against the sale saying that I was climbing on a sinking ship because the acquiring company had lots of COBOL offerings and C was taking over the world. (Glad I didn’t listen. ;-)

      Twenty years later, C is old news and COBOL is even older–but still going strong.

    • Ian May

      I’m not really surprised you’ve never been asked to talk about RSS. It’s a shame in a way.

      I remember talking to others I worked with about how good, and innovative, and useful RSS was about 5 years ago. Even most of the web designers I worked with back then, didn’t know what the heck I was on about.

      A few have since gone on to adopt it.

      I still use RSS myself, and in fact, for me, Feedly has given it a new lease of life here. I’m well aware it’s really icing on the top of Google Reader, but I like to useful functions such as being about to post comments directly into Friendfeed, or push a link to Facebook, or to Twitter.

      I really like Twitter, and Friendfeed, but I’ll continue feed reading too right now.

    • Sanjay Sharma

      Guys and girls, dumping RSS, email, blogs, etc for Twitter is pure idiocy. You are proposing we throw away open, vendor agnostic systems for lock-in! Why dump an open standard for a PROPRIETARY, PRIVATE COMPANY!? Wake up, fools! Despite how cool Ev and company are, its dangerous how people like Arrington are moving people. I can’t believe all the lemming behavior going on here! At this rate, in 5 years, Twitter will own all of you (and your bases). Somebody should punch you all in the face!

      • Adam

        Lemming behavior runs rampant in the tech world and I’m not even in it, I just keep up with the news…even so, it’s all about seeing positives of technological advances rather than spending even a second on the negatives that comes with blindly adopting them.

        Twitter is no Godsend as TC claims but all it takes is a TC search for ‘twitter’ and you’ll see how much in bed they are.

        More dangerous than Arrington & Co.’s love of Twitter is their unknowing love of the UN Agenda 21. They fully support the carbon taxation scam. One can care about the environment without falling into the trap set by Dr. Allegory and friends.

      • FAPP


        You have far too much sense to waster your time here.

      • fun watching the chaos Greatest Hits Vol. 2


        Shirley, you jest!

      • Stylewalker

        Thank you for this and wake up all! Do we want our complete communication be owned by facebook, twitter, google and microsoft? Hell no, use the tools (and others!) but don’t get brainwashed please.

    • David Blume

      Dave, I would attend that talk. I know there are others who would too. Not only do I use Google Reader everyday, I aggregate my activity feeds into a lifestream that dates back to mid 2002. The lifestream is only growing in usefulness over time.

    • ace bhattacharjya

      Completely agree wth the “Father of RSS”, Dave Winer- RSS is just plumbing.

  • Rob Schoening

    Don’t understand this at all.

    Saying that Twitter replaces Google Reader is like saying email replaces the stack of print magazines I have sitting next to me right now.


    • Steve Gillmor

      don’t know about email, but what stack?

      • Jay Cuthrell

        Much of the coverage on the web today is about as useful for promoting progress as a stack of old magazines.

        I haven’t seen Google rushing to scan the world’s periodicals just yet. Yet.

      • Steve Gillmor

        what periodicals? oh wait, the Kindle stream.

      • Jay Cuthrell

        Oh, I meant aged periodicals.

        The new version of the periodical is where the real action will be. 7-11 style anytime and anywhere you’ll have the Slushee machine of brain happy goop on tap and sold by the pull.

        The cup will be called a Kindle instead of a BigGulp.

      • rot26

        Google already has scanned in vast quantities of periodicals, (Google Books).

  • Rob Schoening

    A related thought: If it doesn’t take a writer an order of magnitude or two (or three or four) longer to write than it takes me to read, then I’m not interested in it.

    I’m a dinosaur, I guess.

  • Sameer Patel

    Wow. No one has asked you to speak about RSS, Dave?
    That just blows my mind.

  • S Emerson

    I use a desktop client to read RSS. It can be on all the time, or just start it up when you want to check your favourite blogs/sites. I find it much easier to follow the people I want to keep up with than Twitter.

  • S Emerson

    You can add the RSS feed for your Twitter friends to your RSS reader, making it possible to keep up with people when offline.

  • PXLated

    I’m probably totally missing something or the point – often the case :-(
    So Steve, you no longer get your info (links/news/etc) through RSS, you get pointers (links) to that via Tweets. If true, aren’t you being somewhat parasitic, letting others do the work of parsing/reading their feeds in order to even post those interesting links in Twitter/Friendfeed? Those links have to come from somewhere.
    What am I missing?

    • obama tweets

      We at utilize RSS, Twitter, and a number of other services, platforms, sites, etc to gather raw data, filter it, and create original content from. Saying goodbye to RSS is like saying goodbye to the Air Force because you just kick ass in the tank.
      We say this as an enthusiastic supporter of twitter power.

    • Steve Gillmor

      not much apparently, Px. Letting others do the work? Damn right.

    • Sanjay Sharma

      Think about it! This is only something that somebody who really, REALLY wants Twitter to take over communication would propose. Its crazy.

  • francine hardaway

    I don’t have enough trust that my friends will find all the stuff I want to read to give up RSS. If I can “j” down the page, I’d rather at least see what I’m not reading in GoogleReader.

    • Phil Maxwell

      That’s exactly the way I see it too, Francine. I don’t want to be dependent on others to tell me what I want to read.

    • Jim Simpson

      Well put. This article was a fair bit of nonsense masquerading as wisdom.

      Twitter is a novelty; I won’t dispute it’s relevance and utility, but a replacement to RSS it is not…

      Google Reader is an indispensable part of my daily routine and informs me in a way that Twitter is simply incapable of, or any of the other social platforms.

      RSS empowers me to channel the stream, rather than the current pulling me where it wants to.

    • Jezebeau

      I agree. “j”ing down the page and “v”ing anything worth reading in full (or checking the comments for) is convenient. I can star a page for as long as I’m participating in its discussion.

      For me, RSS is to Twitter as listening is to overhearing.

  • Andrew Mager

    On point.

  • Richard Carter, FCD

    Nah! There’s life in the old dog yet.

  • Rest in Peace: RSS « Sprechblase

    […] in Peace: RSS Posted in Sprechblase by Cem Basman on 5. Mai 2009 Steve Gillmor, editor at TechCrunch IT and Head of the Gillmore Gang, sayz: It’s time to get completely off […]

  • Andrew Mager

    RSS will always be a great format and data type, but it’s not as immediate and brief as Twitter, and it never will be.

    • Marco

      Yes it will… “Show – Expanded/List”

    • fun watching the chaos Greatest Hits Vol. 2

      The only times I’ve ever pulled a feed were when I saw on was available from my You Tube page.

      What did I see?

      A summary of my clips.

      Twitter can hang. 1000 words isn’t enough fo me sometimes even if ONE SENTENCE suffices most of the time.

  • Allison Reynolds

    RSS while never really “sexy”, for the true information connoisseur will always be very much in use.

    The majority of links Twittered or Friendfed (and I have RSS feeds which follow such things) are links to the “big” name sites. I don’t want that kind of information. I am looking for the boutique stuff, the opinions less held. The wheat not the chaff.

    Nice try, but no banana I am afraid.

    • Bryan R. Adams

      Can I join Allison’s fan club? Well said.

    • Steve Gillmor

      You’re not following the right people, but until Track returns you have an excuse.

      • Mario

        Who are the right people?

      • Alex Bowles

        If you have to ask…

      • Mario

        Sorry, Alex, for being out of the loop. I’m brand new to this, only been following TechCrunch for about a month. Besides, looks like you’re twice my age, which has given you more time to enter that loop.

      • mishu

        That’s the problem with Twitter. It’s too hipster, “in-crowd” for receiving information.

  • Edwin Khodabakchian

    Interesting post. Twitter/Friendfeed offer a social organization of your information stream and Google Reader provides today a more topical organization of the stream. I think that people like to go back and forth between the two. I think that it will be all the more the case as twitter mature and the velocity of the stream increases.

    In feedly (, we are trying to best integrate those two concept and allow users to take advantage of both Twitter and Google Reader while keeping control of how the information is filtered and presented. Did you ever had the chance to try feedly?

    • Elliottness

      I second the plug. Feedly revolutionized GReader. It turned my once static and lifeless (yet over-full) RSS collection into a dynamic pot of information. It’s integration into social media is brilliant and can only grow better. Plus it pulls in your twitter content

      I like twitter, but so many article/blog summaries cannot be fit into 140 characters plus RT references and links. on that front it falls short. If it is a personal recommendation that has been properly parsed, it is great, but lots of blogs force feed twitter and make it useless unless you already want to read the link. Ergo

      • fun watching the chaos Greatest Hits Vol. 2

        Well, you are very lucky. Some people turn to drugs to get that expansion. We can still explain this to Paul and Ringo, thank goodness!

    • Mike Elliott

      As I write this comment the top trending topics on Twitter are: Adam Lambert, KFC, American Idol, Allison, Oprah, Swine Flue, Danny Gokey, Star Trek, #ftsk and Mavs, none of which interest me personally. Now I go over to my Feedly powered Google Reader and I can look at a combination of search feeds and blog feeds specific to my interests all integrated with the social networking apps I use. If I find an article I like I can immediately see the related friendfeed conversations – it’s the best of both worlds. I really can’t see one without the other from the standpoint of being able to effectively filter content that’s relevant to me.

  • Edwin Khodabakchian

    One more thing: under the hood Google Reader is an amazing platform which will allow Google to easily mutate x multiply the experience when they decide to do so.

    • coldbrew

      Often overlooked, but very poignant. I think GOOG should just set the GReader API loose, and let companies like yours have at it. They can keep GReader for those that want to use it, but it should be made a platform with documented APIs (reverse-engineering the API is too much of a moving target).

  • Alana Taylor

    But doesn’t someone need to check their RSS feeds in order to share interesting stories on Twitter? Like, otherwise where would it start…? I don’t want to click on every link that @so-and-so-blog pushes out… I want to scroll through it faster on my RSS feed to see whether it’s worth reading or not, or at least scan through it and know the news.

    Maybe I got it all wrong.

  • Lawton Chiles

    RSS Is Dead?! (So Says The Web) Did You Ever Need It To Begin With? {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”RSS Is Dead?! (So Says The Web) Did You Ever Need It To Begin With?  “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}

    • Steve Gillmor

      I mostly use sources like NewsGang and TechMeme to compliment Twitter/FriendFeed. These days I follow more than subscribe.

  • tericee

    Great post, but my question is this: Why the Beatles photo to accompany the post?

    • Steve Gillmor

      Why did the Beatles cross Abbey Road?

      • Chris Heath

        To get to the studio?

      • fun watching the chaos Greatest Hits Vol. 2

        Carry on, dead man!

        or something like that.

        Paul was wearing thong slippers in that picture but he took them off prior to the crossing in the album cover picture. The bare feet were interpreted by some folks with bad, bad microdots as being related to a Sicilian thing about being dead.

        Paul is DEAD they said, so he played on instead.

      • Fun watching the chaos, Bach to the Future, Opus IV edition

        To avoid being hit by a lorrie!

  • Anthony DCosta

    Google Reader and Twitter are two different things. At least I use them for different things. The first to monitor news from sites I normally visit. The latter for monitoring the buzz on the web, what people are reading, thinking…

  • Kurt Hurtado

    How convenient! The next item on my TODO list is “create an RSS feed for XXX”

    • Steve Gillmor

      create a friendfeed account and follow XXX.

      • martin english

        What if XXX is NOT on friendfeed ?
        Don’t make the assumption that everything in the world is able to provide data / information in a stream that’s a) accessible to you and / or b) that you access ?

        To truly progress our minds, we need to get:
        -) contrary messages,
        -) messages outside our echo chamber,
        -) messages from different taxonomy’s …

        Examples are :
        -) RSS is as dead as plumbing (i.e. consumer RSS v infrastrucre RSS)
        -) I use RSS to track what is happening in the US and Europe business hours (overnight for me)
        -) You appear to be tagging RSS as a consumer technology, where it is becoming less useful, rather than an infrastructure technology.

        I think the first two are points that people have covered enough in the past (basically, its the echo chamber argument).

        Hower, twitter and friendfeed won’t translate the cultural or linguistic differences. Think of what he roots for the Green Bay Packers means to someone outside North America. That’s assuming you see their posts, because of time zone differences.

      • martin english

        BTW, did you Dave’ post the other day on what a first time twitter user sees ?

        marketing and drivel… sounds like my local free-to-air TV :)

      • Chris Heath

        if XXX isn’t on friendfeed you can still subscribe… that’s the beauty of friendfeed, just make a group (choose public or private) and then add all the accounts/services/feeds that you want.

      • Fun watching the chaos, Bach to the Future, Opus IV edition

        XXX is EVERYWHERE, ya freak ;-p

  • John Baronian

    “Never instead of. Always in addition” – Rabbi Joseph Gelberman

  • Tracy Ryan Peterson

    Twitter is the fad app of the moment. It’s also a great way to get lots of hits from the relationship managmenet/ 2.0 is god crowd. There is no 2.0 please go back to your homes.

    RSS is still far more useful than twitter and much more widespread. While I’m sure you are a nice person, I find your article to be populist drivel capitalizing on a crap fad to get hits, you should team up with Scoble. Good day.

  • Dan Thornton

    I definitely agree that it’s easy to get caught up inside a Feed Reader and miss out on native blog comments and conversation, which is the biggest weakness of RSS consumption at the moment – the same could be said of Twitter/Friendfeed etc, until the likes of Disque and Backtype unite everything together somewhere…

    But I do disagree that RSS is dead – for starters, it never really became a mainstream consumption tool. It still might, though, as it’s simple to use compared to the brilliant but overwhelming amount of options on Friendfeed.

    And realtime doesn’t always win – I tend to catch up on RSS in mornings or evenings when I’ve got time to read, blog, think etc, rather than during the working day – which would mean missing a lot of Twitter content unless it’s as an @reply. Instead, I can quickly skip through content I might have already seen via trips to Twitter etc throughout the day, and still find things which might have slipped through my network’s nets.

    Plus I quite often find things via RSS which serve as a starting point for me to hopefully add some value to when I research, write about it and add to it – and being able to find previous articles quickly and easily via RSS is a lot easier than indexing every single thing I might ever need in Delicious, or searching the entire web every time….

    For me, it’s horses for courses…

    • Steve Gillmor

      disagree that RSS isn’t mainstream. Twitter is the response to RSS ubiquity, tilting the filter from topic to people. Async follow + Track + aggregated RSS (FriendFeed) beats RSS.

      • coldbrew

        It’s asymmetrical (chronous implies time).

        Shame on you for not linking to Winer, Obasanjo, or Wired, all of which published highly relevant posts in the last couple days (or in Winer’s case 3+ yrs ago on Good reasearch ;)

      • Steve Gillmor

        thanks, a typo which I’ll leave in. Only read Dare’s post when I saw mine related to it on TechMeme. Wired I missed. Winer I’ve read every day since I met him at the .Net rollout in Redmond. He invented the shit I’m talking about. Haven’t you heard?

      • David Megginson

        Are you talking about web sites, activities, or delivery formats?

        I suspect you’re either trying to say that you like one web site (Twitter) better than another (Google Reader), or that you like one activity (microblogging) better than another (full text blogging).

      • sky

        You’re just saying you like Twitter as an RSS reader (over Google reader). It’s not RSS that you’re abandoning, but Google Reader.

        When you start liking something besides Twitter as an aggregator, you’ll probably find this useful:

      • William Mougayar

        It’s ludicrous to throw the baby (RSS Readers) with the bath water (RSS). If RSS readers have failed us, it doesn’t mean RSS is bad.
        The part of the logic I don’t understand is that- those same new social channels that you’re enamored by (Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook, people-based) also have RSS-out.
        What we need is a better way to configure what we want to read daily that cuts across people and subject filters and social & traditional media sources.
        We’re just coming out of stealth at Eqentia- providing a personalized semantic aggregator, and would love to configure one for you where every link brought-in will be relevant.

      • William Mougayar

        Sorry, I meant Baby= RSS, Bath water=RSS Reader. Too bad we can’t edit Comments here, like with Disqus.

  • cman

    I read this post via RSS on my iGoogle homepage – i’d much rather have that than a stream of nonsense via twitter. Maybe i’m “Old School” – but I prefer the long form content (image that – blog posts now considered long form, in depth content! – thanks twitter!)


    RSS is great for receiving content, and allowing your content to be shared w/ other platforms – i think it will be around for a while…..

    • Peter Kim

      Exactly. I read this post via RSS. In Google Reader.

      RSS isn’t dead. It hasn’t even scraped the surface of mainstream enterprise IT usage yet.

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