What’s the future of RSS, Atom, and other syndication formats? I’m still attached to my RSS reader, but it sounds like a lot of people are giving up.
For example, here’s RSS reader author Dare Obasanjo on RSS readers that work like mail clients:
The problem is that the RSS readers I use regularly, Google Reader and RSS Bandit, take their inspiration from email clients which is the wrong model for consuming casual content like blogs. Whenever I fire up an email application like Outlook or Hotmail it presents me with a list of tasks I must complete in the form of messages that need responses, work items, meeting invitations, spam that needs to deleting, notifications related to commercial/financial transactions that I need to be aware of and so on. Reading email is a chore where you are constantly taunted by the BOLD unread messages indicator silently nagging you about the stuff you haven’t done yet.
James Snell says feeds are useful but feed readers are dead.
This seems to be the discussion of the week as far as tech blogs go, so I’ll weigh in. I like my feed reader, and I deal with the overload of unread messages by not worrying about it. Right now I have 1600 unread items in NetNewsWire, and most of them will almost certainly wind up being marked as read without being viewed. The important stuff I don’t want to miss is in specific folders that I check all the time. The other stuff I usually just let accumulate until I mark it as read. I’m OK with that.
What I’m taking away from this discussion is that I need to account for people who aren’t using RSS but still want to keep up with my blog. To that end, I’ve created a Twitter account just for my blog — @rc3dotorg.
Update: I’m using the la petite url plugin for WordPress to generate short URLs for use on Twitter internally rather than using a URL shortener.