Why RSS Isn't Dead

With Facebook and Twitter being primary sources for news these days, are RSS readers still relevant?


That was the question posed in this article and this tweet, which of course, prompted me to write this post.

My answer is no and here's why.

I equate Twitter to a big river. If you've never stood on the banks of a river, big or small, you've at least seen one on TV, the web, etc. Basically Twitter is this massive body of water that keeps flowing no matter if you're on standing on the banks or not. We don't have time to stand on the banks all day long and see what swims by. We can't cast our fishing rods out every second to see what we catch. If you're following a lot of people on Twitter, the river moves faster and it becomes harder and harder to catch the content that's important to you. As a result, you end up building Twitter lists, using columns in programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc.

Simply put, you just can't catch it all and anyone that says that do, is lying.

Enter RSS readers.

Services like Google Reader and applications like Reeder and NetNewsWire are not fishing rods, but more like mesh nets that you can stretch across the river of content that's important to you. Yes, you won't catch breaking news this way, but you will stop content that's important to you from slipping by. And with the web littered with blogs and social media services, the content river is getting bigger and bigger. Twitter will eventually become ineffective for catching all the news that's important to you. Yes, you might catch breaking news if you trolling around the service at that particular time, but you still need a fishing net to help catch the other stuff.

Do you think RSS is dead?