Since Google has shut down the Reader I keep reading in various sources the same idea over and over again. The idea that RSS is an old technology, that it was and is used only by geeks, and that it is obsolete and not needed anymore as one is supposed to get his fix of news through social media (facebook, twitter) and social reading apps like zite, flipboard, etc.
What bothers me most is I read these same ideas in blogs of pretty technical people whose opinions I do usually value.
The interesting part is, if it wasn’t for the RSS, I wouldn’t be reading these blogs in the first place, as it would be too much of a hassle for me to visit each one of their individual sites to check whether they generated some new content. I am also not going to subscribe to their facebook or twitter feeds for the occasional notifications, as it has too much noise for my taste, I don’t care for their random 140 letter ideas, nor do I care about photos of their dinner, I only want their well structured thoughts, the ones they actually spent some time on. So if RSS dies tomorrow, chances are I will still visit some of these sites, but the frequency will become significantly lower with time, and eventually I might even forget about some of them, or give up on regularly reading blogs altogether.
I do agree that social media and tablet/iphone magazines do solve the problem of getting news, latest internet memes etc. I do use Flipboard, Facebook and Twitter myself. But these are things that will eventually pop up in one of these social feeds one way or another anyway, if I miss the post from site A then I will notice a repost from site B the next day or a week later. And even if I do miss some, who cares, knowing it doesn’t really bother me.
But what about personal blogs? I know John Doe, I know he is writing about a topic that is close to my heart, I want to read absolutely everything he writes and I want to read it the day he writes it because I like to be part of the discussion as well. I also like to read everything in one place and I want to be able to save reading some of these articles for later. Is there any technology besides RSS today that fits all these requirements?
I will happily admit RSS is dead if you can point me in the direction of that alternative technology. I don’t think you can though.