Is RSS Becoming Irrelevant?

In doing some research on Canadian blogs recently, one of the most striking things was how many of them don’t have RSS feeds given how RSS is supposed to be a blog staple.

This suggests that Canadian bloggers are blissfully ignorant about RSS, they don’t care about RSS, RSS isn’t as important as it used to be, or there’s a belief that encouraging people to consume content through an RSS reader is less attractive than making them read their blog.

Whatever the reason, there may be some credence to RSS’s losing its social media mojo.

Do you remember when FeedBurner was all the rage? Then, it was acquired by Google. And since then, Feedburner has pretty much disappeared.

Part of FeedBurner’s low profile has to do with the fact that it has followed the path of many companies that disappear once they have been gobbled up by the Google Empire. But perhaps another reason is how RSS has been supplanted by other distribution services.

For example, a growing number of people now get their daily blog fix via services such as Twitter, Facebook, Tweetmeme or Feedera. Many of these people used to be hard-core RSS readers using tools such as Google Reader and Bloglines.

This is not to suggest the value and usefulness of RSS as a distribution tool is diminishing; it’s more that the consumption of blog content has expanded beyond RSS to the point where RSS isn’t as important or necessary.

  • Pingback: Techrisk » Börjar RSS bli irrelevant?()

  • It’s certainly a bad consumer product and should have never been “advertised” as such. However, it’s still greatly used by many many companies for different purposes than just build feed readers! Google uses it to feed their search engine, for example!

  • Wow, if you are doing with tech unsavvy bloggers that’s not a criteria that RSS is irrelevant. See the poll results, they talk for themselves.

  • I have noticed this trend as well. The disadvantage of receiving content via RSS is that you have to go through the content yourself and it takes time to go through all the received RSS posts and decide which one is worth reading and which one is not. On the other hand for example on Twitter, you will receive already filtered content (depending on the pople you follow) which saves a lot of time and also filter the not so good or mediocre content.

    That being said, there is an upcoming trend of tablets. The major feature of these tablets is that it is content focused. You can pull the RSS content than in the evening lie on bed or sit in the armchair and go through the RSS content like its newspapers. So i think that RSS will probably go in this direction.

    Also RSS are in my opinion the most useful tool for social media monitoring. No tool can ever cover every region specific source. Therefore one can cover these sources via RSS. There are also tools that create RSS from websites that do not have one.

    Despite what I said in the first paragraph, I think that the RSS Feeds will be on the uprise. Partly because of the social media monitoring which is the upcoming marketing trend and partly because of the tablet market which is also an upcoming trend. However using RSS to pull content on a computer will in my opinion become irrelevant.

  • Sam

    For me, RSS isn’t irrelevant, but it has been replaced (in large part) by Twitter; and following the people/company/blogs I am interested in. That being said, moving away from it is not an option.

  • Today RSS is much more than what it started as. RSS is the water that flows in the social media river. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, all use RSS to allow their users to syndicate their content across platforms. It’s more useful than ever. And a blog without an RSS feed is like a blog without a comment function – not really a blog.

  • RSS and RSS readers have never been mainstream tools, but for a minority of curators, researchers and bloggers they are one of the prime ways of reading, filtering and distributing content.

    The frequent reason for preferring, say Twitter which is considered the reason most people quit RSS, is that content is already filtered which is quite arguable. But at least for me the drawbacks of not having a proper tool to store, categorize, search and distribute content makes Twitter essentially useless as a replacement for RSS.

    I agrees RSS will become more widespread as a behind-the-scenes method to get information into the users’ hands, but it will never become something the users actively use, save for a specialized minority.

  • Tianna

    I came onto this blog to find it’s RSS…. How ironic it doesn’t have one!

  • Mark Evans

    Yes, we do have an RSS feed on the right-hand column.