Lately there has been a lot of talk about RSS being dead, doomed, dying, a thing of the past, etc, etc, etc. (The latest wave seems to have been triggered by this article by Sam Diaz over at ZDNet.)
Come on, people.
RSS is a data syndication mechanism. RSS reader applications (such as the Google Reader) may or may not be losing some popularity, but that is an application issue and to go from there to saying that RSS itself is dead is just nonsense. That’s similar to saying that HTML is dead.
Here is the truth: RSS is and remains an important way to publish and receive data on the Internet and is used by millions of sites. It powers a lot more behind the scenes than we tend to think about.
Ways RSS is used today:
- Publication of blog posts and news articles from all over the Web
- Lots of sites and applications get their data via RSS (TechMeme, Google News, anyone?)
- And a huge number of different data feeds
So, RSS is dead. Ok, bloggers, discontinue your RSS feeds and rely on Twitter alone. And all you news sites, shut down your RSS feeds as well. RSS is dead anyway, right? Abandon ship!
And of course you won’t do that. Because thinking about what the Web would be without RSS makes you realize how widely used it actually is. It’s not all about Google Reader.