Thursday, December 24, 2009

As the Decade Closes, Has RSS Faded Too?

As the Decade Closes, Has RSS Faded Too?

The decade is coming to an end. And with it, so has the era of feeds too faded - though you can argue it never got off the ground. Even with real-time technologies like pubsubhubbub, RSS today feels slow and it's clear its best days are behind it. Feed reading, like blogging, feels "very 2005." I wasn't convinced until recently, however.

Until a few weeks ago, this die-hard techie was clinging to Google Reader like a disco maniac might his eight-tracks. I felt like the last hold out; the guy still dancing to the Bee Gees when everyone else had gone punk - and maybe I was. 

Now, however, slowly but surely I am moving more of my consumption out of RSS and into the Twitter stream. Twitter, not blogs, long ago became the focal point for reading and conversing around news for many. So it's natural, as this report on Read Write Web indicates, that most of us who were even using RSS readers to begin with have ditched them and have moved to tracking news in the stream instead. And we're not alone. According to Forrester, eight percent of US online adults post and read updates on Twitter at least monthly.

Personally, this is something I resisted for three reasons: a) I like full text feeds, b) there was a lack of organization/lists and c) Twitter remains very dependent on "now," making saving and digesting information at a later date in a Tivo-like way all the more difficult. That all changed with the advent of Twitter lists. 

Nowadays I am bringing it all into Gmail, which other than my corporate email account is my sole productivity and social Ginsu Knife. I already publish to my Posterous-powered lifestream site via email. Couple that with Twitgether, a full-blown real-time Gmail Twitter client, NutshellMail for tracking social network interactions like replies and Listimonkey to bring me Twitter lists every hour via email (pictured above), my Google Reader is starting to get lonely.

How about you? Are there any die-hard RSS users out there who have not succumb to the stream?

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