Why I Think RSS Still Matters

5 Comments 04.25.14

I still remember the first day I discovered an RSS reader, it must have been ten years ago. It left my head spinning with marvel over its power and possibilities. In fact, I told a woman about it on our first date and now that woman is my wife!

The idea is: subscribe once to your favorite sites and you’ll have one place to come and read all their updates when they are published.

RSS hasn’t changed the whole world like I hoped it would, but it has improved the reading and learning of millions of people. These days, after Google shut down Google Reader and hundreds of millions of people get news from Twitter or Facebook, many people question or just never learned the value of an RSS reader.

Here’s a reminder, updated for a social world. I use Feedly every day on my iPhone and recommend it.
* Just the news: RSS readers will display just the news from your favorite sites, no random social updates. Sometimes that’s nice – it’s high signal to noise.
* Don’t miss anything: Because there are fewer updates, you can more easily see all the posts from a site and stay up to date.
* Medium-length scanning:
RSS updates are much more lightweight than a full web page, but meatier than a Tweet. That enables a more effective kind of scanning.

Maybe it’s a matter of taste, I get most of my news from Little Bird, Twitter (I felt inspired to write this because of a Tweet!) or LinkedIn, but give me an evening reading session and I open up Feedly.

I think RSS is a great reading experience. It can expand your learning universe just as much today as it ever could. I still love it very much.

You?


I want to make sure you know about NTEN - the Nonprofit Technology Network.

NTEN helps nonprofits learn to use the web effectively.

  • John Carson

    Very happy with The Old Reader. Free for now, going to a cheap yearly fee.

  • http://blog.louisgray.com/ Louis Gray

    I read this on Feedly, obviously. I paid them for the Pro version. And I launched them too! I scooped RWW. :)

  • Pingback: Minimalism Through RSS | Mildly Minimal

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    RSS still matters, in fact I think it’s in line for a comeback in popularity… especially in light of Google’s recent news with G+.

    RSS just has to reach the average Internet user, and be easy enough for that user to understand how to use.

  • http://fearmyblog.com/ tacanderson

    Preach on Brother Kirkpatrick!