free html hit counter Is RSS Really Dead? | John Battelle's Search Blog

Is RSS Really Dead?

By - December 02, 2010

IMy Shrook.png‘m usually the last guy to know, and the first to admit it, but is RSS really dead? I keep seeing posts claiming Twitter and Facebook have essentially replaced RSS as the way folks filter their news these days, but I for one am still addicted to my RSS client (it’s Shrook, for anyone who still cares).  

Perhaps RSS isn’t dead, but instead it’s professionalizing. It’s the Beta to the VHS of Twitter. Higher quality, better signal, but more expensive in terms of time, and used only by folks “in the industry.”

I write, every single day (especially with Signal), and I consume a lot of feeds in order to do that. I need a professional tool that lets me do that efficiently, and so far nothing beats an RSS reader. But I’m serious about my feeds, and most folks, I guess aren’t.

Or are you? I mean, sure, Feedburner is languishing over at Google, I hear, but

Potemkim or Real.pnghell, I have 207,000 readers consuming my feed, at least, that’s what Google tells me. And that’s up from about 170K earlier this year. Are you out there, RSS readers? Or am I blasting XML into a ghost town?

Just wonderin. Shout out if you’re here, guys. And shout out if you’re reading this because someone pointed to it on Twitter….

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145 thoughts on “Is RSS Really Dead?

  1. Stephen Sorrow says:

    Hi John, Great article. I follow you via Twitter but agree RSS can be more efficient in some realms. You may have encouraged me to use it more often.

  2. Silviu says:

    Hah I hope you’re not expecting 207K comments.
    And yeah, we’re here.

  3. Bryson says:

    I read this through Google Reader and clicked through to be counted. I prefer RSS to Twitter for feed reading, but use both.

  4. I am addicted to rss also. I used shrook (shout out!) for 2 years, but switched to google reader for the ease of switching between different os computers (only two, but multiple oses on both).

    I find the way rss allows me to categorize things in folders, so I can put a whole industry under one folder, and read all the blog titles of that extremely useful.

    I even have an interesting folder, for when I need a mental break, that puts a little xkcd and boing boing into my life. For people who can scan large amounts of text to find golden nuggets, I think rss will continue to be a standard log into the future.

    Glad to hear there are other rss addicts out there :)

  5. Andrew says:

    Can’t imagine not using RSS, but maybe I’m a dinosaur?

  6. Rich Danielson says:

    I (@RichDanielson) saw this on Twitter. RSS is a silo’d feed. Twitter is a rich web of conversations.

  7. badmacktuck says:

    I couldn’t live without Google Reader/RSS. There’s a big difference in the kind of stuff I share in Reader and in the kind of stories I share in FB – and it’s mostly quality of content, and the readership.

    Interesting, insightful news stories and maybe a little humor = Reader/RSS. Readers who see my shared items in GReader know it’s meant for scholastic, political or incendiary news. They also know they don’t have to read it.

    Stupid internet humor = Facebook. I don’t want to spam my captive audience with “real” stuff, because to most of them, I’m not that guy.

  8. Alex says:

    Getting informed by Twitter is like drinking from the Ganges. The “professionalized” thesis seems to be born out: myself and the several dozen people I know read RSS for professional needs.

    On that note, please continue blasting XML – this here Google Reader user if nothing if not eternally grateful. ;)

  9. Jacco says:

    We’re here! Love my RSS feeds and although I find lots of new interesting things on Twitter, I like to use Google Reader for all my daily reads (sources with consistent quality and insights, like your blog – thanks!) without being distracted by all those noisy tweets.

  10. Claudio I. says:

    I’ve been using RSS since Google Reader was released, and I’ve been hopelessly hooked ever since. I can’t imagine the web without it. I have dozens of RSS feed subscriptions… it’s tantamount to _always_ having something to read.

    For the record, I think Twitter’s signal-to-noise ratio is what makes it unusable for me.

  11. Jerry says:

    I read tons of news in Google Reader. I’m more interested in medium to long articles rather than one or two sentences on twitter.

  12. Didi says:

    Google Reader is still a huge part of my content consumption, and I read this in my feed. I follow you on Twitter, actually, but the signal to noise ratio on RSS is better for me. I read at least every headline on GR, and miss most tweets. Of course, this is due to the fact that I follow waaay to many people (791), but such is life.

  13. Antonis says:

    Oh yeah we are here..

    we are in more places now but certainly read it through greader also. Much easier and simple for reading important stuff.

    p.s. if you get 207000 comments now would be really funny :)

  14. Sam says:

    Nice piece, I too like so many came to this page via the gateway to information that is Google Reader. On my desktop I use Google Reader and on the move the iPhone app – Reeder.

    I don’t think I could possible contemplate life with out RSS feeds. The way I can easily categorise and manage the sheer volume of information out there and have a ease of archiving, highlighting (starred items)and sharing makes RSS a permanent feature in my online life.

    With regards to the use of Twitter and Facebook to filter the information we digest I am pleased that RSS has a level of uncertainty of content and therefore broadens my scope of reference rather than limits it.

  15. Sam says:

    Nice piece, I too like so many came to this page via the gateway to information that is Google Reader. On my desktop I use Google Reader and on the move the iPhone app – Reeder.

    I don’t think I could possible contemplate life with out RSS feeds. The way I can easily categorise and manage the sheer volume of information out there and have a ease of archiving, highlighting (starred items)and sharing makes RSS a permanent feature in my online life.

    With regards to the use of Twitter and Facebook to filter the information we digest I am pleased that RSS has a level of uncertainty of content and therefore broadens my scope of reference rather than limits it.

  16. wererogue says:

    Every time I see “Is RSS dead?” it gives me the fear that somebody will take my beloved feeds away :(

    I consume 90%+ of my internets by RSS.

  17. Camilo says:

    hi, i´m here, reading using rss

  18. Joe says:

    Discovered and consumed via Google Reader ..

  19. Bobby says:

    I’ve been using a newsreader (NetNewsReader) for ever and found the noise level on Twitter waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too loud. Your comparison of beta to VHS is well taken-VHS was crap and beta was, well, better.

  20. Ido says:

    hooked to RSS.
    although I have way (way) too many feeds in my Google Reader, and I get bombed with new information every day, I still find the signal to noise ratio better on RSS than on FB (don’t use Twitter at all)

    RSS has turned into one of my main access points to the web – if a site isn’t in my rss list, chances are that I won’t return to it again.

  21. john says:

    Regular reader through Google Reader. The new Android app ensures that I will be following RSS for some time to come.

  22. Kelly says:

    I’m reading this from twitter. :)

    In my opinion it’s not dead, but the demographic is changing. While twitter is cutting edge for news, many people are far behind the times. Most people I know in real life don’t tweet, but they do use Facebook and more and more are reading blogs.

    Feedburner is somewhat erratic with numbers and tracking, so as a blogger I rely less on it than I did a year ago.

    I personally only use a feedreader for clients but for blogging inspiration I go to twitter.

  23. Brooks says:

    Yep, I read this post in your feed.

    I couldn’t do without my feed reader either, but regular folk in my life don’t typically use one.

  24. Chris says:

    I both found and read your blog through google reader. It’s a really easy way to sort and browse a large amount of content.

  25. Adam says:

    Google Reader has been my primary source of content for years, and remains such even now that I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter. It’s where I read this blog from.

    Of course, I take all the stuff that I find interesting from my feeds and share them on Twitter and Facebook, where my friends and family–who do not use feed readers–benefit from my obsessive compulsive content consumption.

  26. Andrew W says:

    I read your blog through Google Reader. I browse through my feeds daily. I don’t think RSS is dead.

  27. Mark says:

    Put me down as another RSS fan, with hundreds of feeds I monitor daily. Twitter is great if I want to know what somebody had for lunch (in 140 characters or less), but RSS is a professional tool. I can’t imagine life without it.

  28. Scott says:

    Twitter and FB don’t even come close to doing what RSS does for me, where I get to timeshift all my favorite authors’ best writing. RSS revolutionized the way I use the Internet. Twitter and FB revolutionized how I don’t use it.

  29. I got this one from both RSS and Twitter …

  30. I read you every day via my feed reader, Feed Demon, before that Bloglines. I cannot imagine trying to use Twitter to do what a feed reader does so well.

  31. I love my RSS. And I didn’t get this from Twitter.

  32. Joel says:

    Shout out from a Google Reader user here! I am serious about feeds as well, but I also recognize that no one I know outside of the tech/internet industry uses RSS at all, and most don’t even know what it is. I’ve been calling Twitter “RSS for Dummies” for a while now, and I still think it’s pretty accurate, and Facebook’s “Like” system is essentially the same thing except for their extra level of filtering on the feed.

    I am surprised though, that Twitter still doesn’t have an interface that makes feed reading as easy as Google Reader. I’d have to have a much more powerful Twitter reader than anything I’ve seen to give up my RSS reader. Tweetdeck and Seesmic just aren’t built that way. Perhaps that’s the next pothole to be filled…

  33. Joseph Price says:

    I’m coming from Google Reader myself.

    Someone will probably need to release my hold on my RSS feeds from my cold, dead, hands.

  34. Devin says:

    You made me click out of Google Reader for this?
    only kidding John, RSS is still alive and well, at least over here.
    Keep up the good work!

  35. T says:

    RSS reader. I sure ain’t gonna rely on Twitter or Facebook to tell me when my fave sites update.

  36. RSS: reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated. Google Reader is the most-used (web) app on my Nexus One.

  37. Todd says:

    RSS isn’t dead it’s just no longer the shiny new thing. RSS readers like Google Reader appeal to a niche market and while Twitter may be enough to pull away some users for others the services are complementary.

    I use RSS everyday, but don’t use Twitter.

  38. Derek Williams says:

    RSS subscriber here. Google Reader ftw!

  39. Kieran says:

    i use rss all the damn day son. it is a better version of twitter for me. i like it because i don’t have to worry about being liked or followed.

  40. brad dunbar says:

    RSS is *far* from dead, and certainly won’t be replaced by twitter.

  41. Gui says:

    I’m using River of News via GReader.

    RSS requires discipline.

    Also I can’t see how Facebook can be my go to place for news if the people I’m connected to are not really interested in the exact same thing I am. Maybe it’s a sin of eclecticism.

  42. Troy McConaghy says:

    I use Google Reader, which is how I “follow” your blog.

    With Twitter, I sample from time to time and don’t worry if I miss something. I don’t want to miss what you post on your blog!

    Every account on Twitter has an associated RSS feed, so you can subscribe to it if you really don’t want to miss a particular person’s tweets.

  43. Kekek says:

    LOL.

    Written from my FeedDemon 4.9.9.11 Pre-Release.

  44. Here’s why Twitter isn’t even competitive with RSS for me. With RSS, I click or tap the title in the feed reader, and I see the post instantly. (I don’t subscribe to partial-post feeds, and only a few things like iframe’d widgets don’t make it into full-post feeds.) With Twitter, I click a link and am taken, usually with some delay, to a web site, which often isn’t specialized for mobile devices (I mostly read on my phone while in transit, a good way to redeem the time). Although I could probably get a Twitter client such as TweetDeck to replicate much of the other functionality of Google Reader, the lack of instantly accessible, mobile-readable versions of what I want to read makes Twitter a nonstarter for news reading as far as I’m concerned. I do use Twitter – since 2007 – but it’s absolutely not a replacement for RSS.

  45. Hopping on to get counted as another one of your dedicated RSS reader.

    I work as an Editor at Techmeme and confess I couldn’t live without Google Reader to catch up on the news.

    I once wrote about something most people miss: Twitter will never completely replace RSS, as long as the world goes round and there’s night and day. Twitter gives me a great snapshot of what’s happening now, but RSS gives me a high signal in the morning of what happened during the night.

  46. alexander says:

    rss is still the most personal and direct filter if you ask me.

  47. Sharon says:

    I use RSS for reading news, and Facebook/Twitter to see what my friends are up to. As far as I can tell, that is what both are best at.

  48. Aditya says:

    Twitter is too noisy. Your tweet is lost in the sea of hundreds of other tweets in the same moment. My Google Reader is set up to show me exactly what I want to see.

    Want something new? Then Twitter is great, but for catching up with old favorites, RSS can’t be beaten.

  49. Blake says:

    I used Google Reader to view this post, and really I still use it because I feel as if I have more control over what I want to see in Google Reader than I do with Twitter. Everyone I follow on Twitter has something interesting to say about 65% of the time, while on Google Reader I can see what I want to see around 90% of the time. Twitter does really have too much noise. There definitely needs to be something else that replaces RSS, because 140 characters isn’t going to cut it.

  50. Kevin says:

    RSS is hardly dead. The iPad and related tablets with it’s slick RSS reader apps ala Reeder make reading my feeds better than ever. Like you I need my content fed to me

  51. @Drivelry says:

    I think RSS may be about to get a hell of a lot bigger.

    The thing that has changed is the emergence of ebook management apps like Calibre which basically suck down full RSS feeds into whatever reader you’re using (Kindle, iPad, Nook and a dozen others).

    So you can essentially subscribe to any site and for the first time read it not on the computer screen.

    Recently Flipboard announced they were planning to embrace RSS as well.

  52. No, RSS is not dead. I am kind of an information maniac. If at all possible, I don’t want to miss important information about topics I am interested in. Sure there may be tools to collate information from the different social media/networks. But nothing is as user-friendly as an RSS reader. The main reason I like RSS: no social clutter. You only see the information you subscribed to. So, no, you won’t get to read anything about your college friend (whom you haven’t talked to in 4 years) is out walking his dog.

  53. Ted Howard says:

    Using Windows Live Mail to consume my Windows RSS platform feeds. I just got a Windows Phone, and I’m thinking I could easily use Google Reader as a backend for a great, free WinPhone RSS app.

  54. I spend over an hour a day in Google Reader consuming RSS feeds. I couldn’t imagine doing this in Twitter:

    - noise to signal ratio is too high on Twitter

    - tweets are interleaved; in Google Reader I already have a sense of the value of the items I’m reading based on their source, and can easily decide on a busy day which feeds to read and which to skip

    And just all round Twitter is irritating!

    I think Twitter is great for casual consumers of information, and for folk wanting pointers from friends (I scan Twitter once a day), but that professionals will always use RSS.

    Ultimately they’re complimentary – I think in the future everyone with an RSS feed will stream it into Twitter as well, if they haven’t already, so people will be able to choose:

    -read just feed items, grouped by source, in say Google Reader, or

    -read feed items plus personal comments, interleaved in chronological order, in Twitter

  55. Jonas says:

    Came here from Twitter – I would say that I get 70% of my professional news via RSS, the rest from Twitter. Facebook just feed me videos of kittens.

  56. Dbsocial says:

    Coming to from RSS. My RSS feed is like consuming news with “intent” while twitter and Facebook news is more like “discovery”. (to borrow and modify from a book I read a few years ago)

  57. paul says:

    Nope never physically seen anyone use Twitter. Love RSS don’t bother with facebook – too old – I see lots of young uns do it tho even thru a program called hotmail

  58. I still use RSS a lot (Google Reader), I have a strong aversion against RSS pushes on Twitter. I view Twitter as a social application, where I want to talk to or ask people things, RSS I use to quickly skim through articles. Worst offenders in my view are Twitter accounts where you can’t see whether you are dealing with a human or a RSS pusher.

  59. Adam Carson says:

    RSS is still king for me…I love consuming my ‘inbox for the internet’…nothing compares and I don’t think anything will replace (for me)

  60. Paul Miller says:

    I am definitely still using – and relying upon – RSS to bring depth beyond Twitter.

    A year or so back, I was (trying) to read too much, and I almost gave up.

    The arrival of the iPad (and tools like Reeder) changed that; I am reading more again, and doing so in comfort, away from the desk…

  61. This is the most relevant part of your summary: “used only by folks ‘in the industry.’”

    Twitter, Facebook etc. are alternative feed readers for the masses. And to be serious: they are pretty good feed readers for average users! BTW: there’s simply not enough choice for dedicated feed readers out there.

    I’m personally using Fever: But who has it’s own server space out there? Who is willing to install a web app on its own? And who is willing to pay for a feed reader application?…

  62. Henrik says:

    I read this in my RSS feed. Twitter is great for discovering new and interesting things, but for consistently good sources of information, nothing beats RSS. I want to make sure that I get the chance to read everything from certain blogs and newspapers, and with RSS that information is nicely contained and waiting for me. With twitter, I have to constantly watch it to pick up on things.

  63. I suspect that RSS will be alive and well a decade after Twitter has gone the way of the Norwegian Blue of Monty Python fame.

  64. RSS reader, I hope it doesn’t disappear.

  65. Moshe Eshel says:

    I’m not part of the “industry” and still I prefer my doing my reading on a RSS Reader (Google Reader) to Facebook or Twitter.
    Facebook I use for networking and some conversation. Twitter I have yet to understand how to use.
    The fact is RSS just waits for you until you read it, it isn’t limited in any way, while the facebook and twitter streams just flow and wait for no one…
    So yes I read your RSS, once in a while I catch your comments on Twitter.

  66. Daniel says:

    I follow my RSS feeds in Google Reader, and I open it every 10 minutes – I’m addicted to it.

    I prefer it to Twitter as RSS readers mark read posts so I don’t see duplicates, and if I am away for a few days, the posts don’t vanish into the endless pile of tweets.

    Twitter might be the solution to getting news out and about and securing new readers to your blog, but in terms of tracking each post you upload, RSS is the way to keep score I believe.

  67. bruce wayne says:

    RSS is not dead….I actually think that rss and opml have the possibility to evolve into the underpinnings of many new communication platforms.

    http://www.factoetum.com/factoetum/Fela_Kuti_(Musical_Artist)

  68. Tom says:

    twitter is full of noise, RSS has a much higher quality to it.

    just check the user forum for the flipboard ipad app, the most requested feature is RSS integration.

  69. Happened to land from another RSS reader.

    RSS is much better in the way that it is just not all about headlines or humor and is insightful.

  70. Strani says:

    I agree Scott. I follow some blogs and stuff and RSS is the only thing that gets me to read them.

  71. Niall says:

    RSS reader. I can get a much better idea if an article is interesting through Google Reader than I can from Twitter. If anything I’m upping my consumption of news via RSS.

  72. Strani says:

    I agree Scott. I follow some blogs and stuff and RSS is the only thing that gets me to read them.

  73. Pete says:

    Tried Twitter, couldn’t make it work for me, back on RSS.

    I think you’re about right – RSS is boring and professional as opposed to fun and social.

    My guess is that the rest of the difference comes down to the fact that one’s an open standard and one’s a social networking company – RSS doesn’t really have it’s own tribe in the way that Twitter does.

  74. Nick R says:

    RSS Subscriber, and I don’t use twitter. Does that make me outdated?

  75. Daniel says:

    I read RSS every day, and update multiple times a day. I also refuse to use Twitter (it’s for twits). Facebook and Twitter are for stupid comments that no one ever reads. RSS is for news.

  76. Jeff C. says:

    Hell, I only really started using Google Reader regularly about a year ago, and now RSS is supposed to be dying? I don’t buy it. Twitter and Facebook are simply too stupid and annoying to offer me exactly what I’m looking for.

  77. Rayw says:

    get Reader by an IV brain/bio feed?.. yes please

  78. Mr.G says:

    RSS Dead? No way. There’s a lot of people out there still using it and is very far from day. May be it’s changing its form.

    Twitter and fb replacing it? Not even close. There are many niches out there with a public far from “geek” that still does not know how to do that switch and love reading a blog using RSS in email form.

  79. Chris Crum says:

    I use RSS (Google Reader) every day. I’ve invested a lot of time into organizing a lot of feeds and folders with it. I don’t think I’ll stop using it unless RSS feeds stop being available.

  80. Nathan says:

    I agree that RSS really does fit more in the realm of a professional tool. I just recently started cultivating my feeds with Google reader and have found it much more fitting for some types of information. There is just too much junk on the social networks to offer the same value.

  81. I use RSS, I don’t subscribe to has many as before. Discovery of interesting stuff is via twitter and hacker news. For sources I know I will read all they write like you, RSS it is.

  82. lw says:

    +1 for reading this in Google Reader

  83. Sid says:

    I just started using RSS this year and find it really useful. I track about 150 feeds, including my Google Alerts. I also use Twitter, but don’t get a fraction of the info from it that I do from blogs.

    And not to sound like a fan boy, but your SNR, John, is very high. I recommend and quote you to people.

  84. I’m and editor. I use RSS to make sure I see everything posted by certain sites and to skim others. I use twitter to watch for what might be bubbling up. I can check RSS and know it will be there. I glance at twitter several times a day, but never look back at the stream of items I missed.

  85. Rebecca L. says:

    I’m here! I’m with you, I couldn’t be effective at my job without my reader. Google Reader for me, because of the Listen podcast subscriptions that feed into my Droid.

  86. James says:

    Definitely echo most of the comments here. I don’t see twitter as a replacement. In fact I see it as more of a sumerised comments box for articles published via RSS.

    I’ve spent a long time organising feeds into topic channels, and don’t plan on chainging anytime soon. If anything with the introduction of services like evernote and instapaper I see it more valuable than ever.

    I use google reader with reeder on the iPad and iPhone. But have just changed to mobileRSS on both devices, because they support exporting to evernote.

  87. Andres says:

    Came here from Google Reader… can’t imagine not using it for news. Maybe it’s because I like to at least skim the least interesting articles rather than just ignoring them on my twitter feed.

  88. javier says:

    Twitter Vs RSS???

    That’s a joke right? RSS feature committed, serious publishers and is more about functionality than about fashion.

  89. Ged Carroll says:

    Interesting post John, I have been thinking about this for a fair while. I think it has something to do with the way people consume content.

    Many people are happy to graze Twitter, but the ‘super nodes’ that are the ‘social editors’ need a much more robust way to get content: RSS. If you like RSS is the weapon of choice for the content apex predator, rather than the content herbivores.

    Facebook is weird one because although it is recommended content your view is heavily filtered through a Facebook algorithim. Which is also the reason why it makes more sense to go ‘above the line’ on facebook campaigns rather than rely on WOM a lot of the time.

  90. andrew says:

    I, too, found this through RSS. I think RSS is alive and well.

  91. Aditya says:

    another RSS guy here. BTW I found your blog through the Google Reader pack of blogs related to Search :), and have been hooked since then.

  92. Gideon Shalev says:

    I am reading this on my RSS reader (Feedlooks.com), although it came in as a tweet. To a good RSS reader, this should make no difference.

  93. Miss P says:

    I’m here, from GReader, my main source of information/procastination

  94. Derek says:

    Good thoughts-I use Google reader for all my blog consuming.

  95. Adam Edwards says:

    Hi John, I still happily use RSS through Netvibes. I think reports of its death are grossly exaggerated.

  96. Yep, yet another RSS guy. Started out with NetNewsWire long, long time ago, and have since migrated to Google Reader.

  97. John says:

    Great comments, folks. I particularly like the idea that RSS is used by “connectors” or social nodes – may explore that in a follow up post. And this is like the 99th comment, which I think is close the most comments I’ve ever gotten on a post, at least this quickly. Thanks!

  98. ttrentham says:

    I use Google Reader and access almost everything I read via RSS feeds still. I use Twitter as well, but my main interface for getting information is Google Reader.

  99. Robert says:

    I found you through Twitter. LazyScope does an interesting job of mixing RSS and Twitter together. I’ll have a video up shortly about that.

  100. John says:

    Thanks Robert, look forward to seeing it. I’m writing up a post based on what I’ve learned from these comments + a bit of Thinking Out Loud.

  101. Zack says:

    I stumbled across this post in my Google Reader feed. Long live RSS!

  102. Christian says:

    Found this post because someone tweeted it.

  103. Bilsko says:

    Well if RSS is indeed dead, then neither I nor my Google Reader got the message. The highlights from my Trends page in Google Reader:

    “From your 123 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 8,829 items, clicked 756 items, starred 229 items, shared 22 items, and emailed 22 items.
    Since December 19, 2006 you have read a total of 254,648 items.”

  104. Julian Picaza says:

    RSS FTW! Read this on google reader. Vinyl will never die either. some things are just better ;)

  105. rod says:

    I check my feeds every day, just as I do with my e-mails. So, RSS is dead? I don’t have a profile in any social network and I don’t care.

  106. Jason says:

    I love reading via RSS, but wish I could participate in the comments through Google Reader. I do feel left out, and go back and forth between only reading in a reader and visiting sites so I can participate in the discussion.

  107. Lou says:

    Can’t live without my RSS Reader (Google). In fact, with so many option, I opt not to read RSS feeds that don’t post the full text too.

  108. Crap, does this mean I’ve come (yet again) to the hip, happening party years late? Let me go hitch up my donkey cart and see if I can catch the Luddites up the road.

    In the meantime, I guess I do hear an echo in the chamber I call my Google Reader.

  109. Mohit says:

    I use Google Reader for infrequently updating blogs.

    If I subscribe to frequently updating sites (say techcrunch, readwriteweb, etc.), then my Google Reader headlines are inundated by my ‘high volume’ sources. So, I prefer to actually visit these sites separately (yes, and this is a pain).

    On twitter, i follow people i ‘kinda like’, but it won’t matter if i missed a post from them.

  110. Newton says:

    I guess that’s not possible, because many sources of visits came from rss

  111. Alasdair says:

    “RSS is dead” is used by investors and entrepreneurs to mean that it’s no longer relevant to them – investors won’t fund startups based on RSS technology and entrepreneurs are unlikely to found them. They’ve moved on to newer pastures – twitter for now…

    “RSS is dead” really means that RSS has matured, that it’s stable. While growth may not be explosive, it doesn’t mean it can’t still grow, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for 1MM RSS subcribers (up from 207K)

    Just because RSS is dead, doesn’t mean it isn’t influential. Just because RSS is dead, doesn’t mean it doesn’t represent the majority of your ‘readers’ – in fact RSS probably represents your most consistent readers who read everything you write.

  112. Alasdair says:

    “RSS is dead” is used by investors and entrepreneurs to mean that it’s no longer relevant to them – investors won’t fund startups based on RSS technology and entrepreneurs are unlikely to found them. They’ve moved on to newer pastures – twitter for now…

    “RSS is dead” really means that RSS has matured, that it’s stable. While growth may not be explosive, it doesn’t mean it can’t still grow, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for 1MM RSS subscribers (up from 207K)

    Just because RSS is dead, doesn’t mean it isn’t influential. Just because RSS is dead, doesn’t mean it doesn’t represent the majority of your ‘readers’ – in fact RSS probably represents your most consistent readers who read everything you write.

  113. Ganga says:

    Outside the “echo chamber” RSS is fine and healthy I presume.

    I use Twitter to sample what’s going on and sue RSS for my regular reading

  114. eas says:

    I can’t imagine using Twitter of Facebook the way I use an RSS reader, even with a fancy client, of Twitter’s new design.

    I think it is quite possible, though by no means guaranteed, that RSS has another renaissance. People did a lot of good work to make it easy to produce, discover, and consume, but things were still complicated enough to hinder broad adoption, and so more vertically integrated solutions, like Facebook and Twitter have taken hold. I think a lot of what happens depends on whether people in the RSS sphere keep making improvements, or whether most / all the energy is flowing to working with other channels.

    I think the chance for another blooming of RSS is helped by how widely supported it is. Various providers might prefer to shift to channels that give them more control and drive more traffic to their sites, but the people who depend on RSS are still influential.

  115. Abhishek Verma says:

    From Google Reader :)

  116. I’m here because of the RSS feed of yours ;)

  117. Edwin says:

    Still there John, been following you in Netvibes for years and still do. No ghost at all.

    Edwin (from the Netherlands)

  118. ann says:

    Ok- you really don’t need my input now but I’ll leave it anyway. I was mobile yesterday so didn’t take the time to comment but diligently saved your post as ‘unread’ and am coming back to it now. I, too am a faithful reader from RSS- my reader is Google Reader. There is now way I’d ever keep up with anything online if it weren’t for RSS feeds.

    And- interestingly enough, I’m a ‘dinosaur’ in that I don’t do twitter. At all. But I’ll do RSS until they really truly die and you can’t! ;)

  119. Jennifer says:

    RSS only. Twitter is too cluttered.

  120. peter says:

    Long live RSS

  121. allen says:

    RSS dead? Not when there are great RSS readers out there like feedly.
    I’m totally addicted to RSS feeds :)

  122. jacob says:

    yep, I consume most of my news via RSS as well.

  123. Cem says:

    Read using Google Reader.

    (Between work and home, I’m constantly using Win, Mac, Redhat and iPhone; so, web reader is the only meaningful option.)

  124. Steve says:

    I use Google Reader as my first Point of entry for surfing. I read this blog on it. But then that may just be because I don’t use Twitter much…

    The personal vs pro distinction is exactly it I think. But then as Facebook and Twitter start to get more professinal…

  125. RSS could never be dead. To be without RSS is like slowly taking the internet to the cemetary. How would ppl know what’s new? Webmasters would cry like little kindergarden bby’s, because they wouldn’t be able to have their website RSS content updated using automation. Their search engine rankings would suffer enormously; they would not increase online ad revenue; they would not be able to be of service to others, in feeling useful content to their RSS feed readers. The internet would be like a ghosttown at daylight, without RSS…

  126. Axure says:

    RSS is far from dead – it’s just a tool of a more sophisticated audience. I have yet to find a person that would be a good source of news on Twitter; it’s mostly noise and very little signal.

    Theoretically traditional news is 95% bull.. too, but I prefer making my own choices and not having my news mixed with musings about what someone had for breakfast.

    I’m reading your blog on a graphical RSS reader of my own invention.

  127. Fasi says:

    Yes I agree with you.

  128. amran says:

    I still love to read with RSS Reader. Google Reader currently. RSS is not dead.

  129. Aaron says:

    Twitter is for conversations, RSS is for content. I dislike when people pipe their RSS to twitter.
    AO

  130. Emmanuel Mwangi says:

    No offense but, this is kinda lazy. You have stats from Google telling you people pull your RSS feed, your logs should probably show links coming from rss readers to the site. You don’t need people leaving comments telling you that they use RSS readers to know this.

    This is what I don’t like about the tech community. It’s as if Congress were about to cut off funding for the interstate system because they aren’t getting any letters about it from their constituents.

    This is the first time I’ve ever *visited* your site. It was recommended to me through Google reader and I subscribed to your RSS feed.

    Just because there aren’t new startups built around RSS or shiny new technologies popping out in this space doesn’t mean RSS is dead.

  131. Chris says:

    I read this through my RSS reader :-)

  132. dicky world says:

    I’m sure it is not possible, because so many rss readers on the internet

  133. Vicki says:

    Getting caught up on my feeds and saw your shout out for opinions re: RSS. As I’m getting caught up on my unreads in google reader, it’s obvious where I stand. GR allows me to consume and process far more information than I could otherwise. And while I’m riding the exercise bike in the evenings, I keep up with about 10 feeds not in my reader via pulse for iphone, which I also really like.

  134. William says:

    Thanks for bringing back this topic. Every once in a while, this debate need to be revived.

    Twitter vs. RSS is like apples vs. oranges.

    RSS is essential, and becoming more invisible, a victim of its own success (Isn’t technology supposed to be best when invisible?). But Readers haven’t kept up with users needs, that’s why some people have given them up in favor of the next shiny thing: Twitter. But after you follow a few interesting people, then you’re back at the management nightmare of managing your feeds. This time, it’s people vs. RSS feeds. So, when Twitter management of people becomes a nightmare, are we going to say “People are dead”?

    The failure is on the part of easy of management of RSS, filtering and mining choices.

  135. William says:

    There is one thing that’s worrying me, though.
    I’m seeing more and more new sites with great content and no RSS feed. Rather, they opt for a Twitter or Facebook link for news updates.

  136. Cody says:

    What if you could have both the real-time aspect of Twitter and the topical personalization of RSS in one service? Could that service kill RSS?

    It’s just getting started, so content submissions are still sparse, but Poundwire.com is trying to fill this void. It might be worth keeping an eye on if you’re trying to juggle a reader and a twitter account, and filter out the noise.

  137. Luke G says:

    Oh, we’re here.

    Beyond curiosity, I consider web reading to be a part of my job. For those of us that are, in this sense, professional info consumers and curators – esp those lucky enough to love it, too – RSS is still indispensable.

  138. Hellie says:

    Great questions posed and terrific feedback from all.
    I can’t envisage Twitter taking over my RSS habits anytime soon as you can’t fit the same volume of info into 180 characters (regardless of the URLs supplied) and I find it harder to continuously monitor twitter where RSS affords me the option to read specific peoples updates when i’m ready to without having to remember to look under that person.
    Facebook is no where near closer to having the capabilities of information sharing that RSS and Twitter afford.

  139. Ian says:

    140 comments and running answers your question, I think. I use Facebook for social news (whose cat died) and Twitter for nothing at all. RSS is my morning newspaper, and also where I aggregate technical information such as the health of our servers. Flexible, easy, essential.

    I suspect RSS has become so integrated for us that we no longer talk about it – hence the misperception that it’s dead.

  140. Alex says:

    It is RSS reader for me! best way to follow news there is. Twitter is a time-waster.

  141. Thetester says:

    yes, we are here, your RSS readers ;-)

  142. Jerry Mills says:

    RSS DEAD!  Hardly…  How else can one keep up with 40 websites of interest?  I can see why it is hard to gather the numbers and advistors may not like them due to a lack of click throughs, but for the end user, the ability to scan headlines on so many different websites and only taking the time on the headlines of interest is such a time saver.

  143. Sdfg says:

    pro RSS