RSS Is Alive And Well

Somehow the comments on my "10 Characteristics of Great Companies" post yesterday drifted into the topic of the future of RSS. I was debating whether to wade into this silly debate about whether "RSS is dead" or not and was leaning toward ignoring it. But the discussion yesterday in the comments convinced me otherwise. So here it is.

Mike Arrington wrote a post on TechCrunch the other day suggesting that Twitter was killing RSS.

I think there is some truth to the assertion that Twitter has replaced feed readers for some people. I have never used a feed reader successfully so it hasn't replaced that for me, but I certainly do use Twitter to find links to news and blog posts that I want to read.

But RSS is way more than the readers it spawned. It is a fundamental part of the Internet architecture and is used for all sorts of things. It's the subscribe system of the internet and a 'default function' in the Internet operating system.

Kid Mercury, a frequent commenter on this blog and also its resident "bouncer" said this which I wholeheartedly agree with:

there is only one thing i can say to the "rss is dead" argument: pfft.

i
think the problem stems from the fact that the geeks embraced RSS and
thought it would be a consumer technology. but alas, it was not meant
to be. however, i think businesses will need to invest in RSS to create
cool things consumers will use, and to help with internal
communications systems.

I don't think RSS is going anywhere and I certainly don't think Twiiter is killing RSS.

Once again we find the tech blogosphere jumping up and down about something 'killing' something else. I've written about this before because it annoys me to no end.

It is rare that one piece of technology kills another, particularly when it is a successful technology that is widely used. Most deaths are self inflicted not brought on by others.

So when you read a post that says 'XYZ is killing ABC', I suggest you see it for what it is, a lame attempt to get pageviews because the author had nothing interesting to contribute on the topic.