Email vs. RSS

There’s been a bunch of discussion over the past couple months about RSS replacing email as a way to communicate. I don’t think its going to happen. Sure email is broken. There’s way too much spam, the ISPs are getting overloaded, and it’s inherently unintelligent and insecure.

But email is the primary application for most people who use the Internet. And it will continue to be. The only thing that is close in terms of mass adoption is instant messaging. RSS is not even on the map.

I’ll give you a good example. TypePad is a great service. I love it. And it supports RSS perfectly. But very few of my friends and colleagues know how to use RSS to syndicate my blog and use a reader. But lots of them want to be notified when i post.

So the people at TypePad pointed me to a great service called Bloglet.

I went there, set up an account, and added some HTML to my blog and now i have a subscribe field at the top of my blog. Anyone who wants to get an email alert when i post can simply give me (actually Bloglet) their email address.

I think a lot more people will want to subscribe this way. Its simpler and easier for them. It brings the blog into the mainstream of everyday internet use. I know some people will think i am going backwards not forwards. But i think email is and will continue to be the primary form of communication on the internet and i want to harness its power for my blog.