Just over a month ago, I logged into my Bloglines account to read my RSS feeds just as I do on a daily basis. I found a red statement before me that said, “The Bloglines service will officially close October 1, 2010.” The date was later extended to November 1st.
I understand that businesses have to shift focus as the Internet changes from one technology platform to the other, funding is lost and hard decisions have to be made. But proclaiming the death of RSS? Is this true?
In a statement issued by Ask.com (who owned Bloglines, a fact I didn’t know), said, “…Flash forward to 2010. The Internet has undergone a major evolution. The real-time information RSS was so astute at delivering (primarily, blog feeds) is now gained through conversations, and consuming this information has become a social experience. As Steve Gillmor pointed out in TechCrunch last year, being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people as Twitter and Facebook dominate real-time information flow. Today RSS is the enabling technology – the infrastructure, the delivery system. RSS is a means to an end, not a consumer experience in and of itself. As a result, RSS aggregator usage has slowed significantly, and Bloglines isn’t the only service to feel the impact. The writing is on the wall.”
In other words, social experiences such as Twitter and Facebook have replaced the RSS aggregator? I disagree. Social media has enhanced the experience of getting to the best stuff in a crowded online world, but the RSS feed is the “subscription” to a constant flow my favorite stuff. There’s a difference there for me. Maybe that makes me old-fashioned?
I’ve already ported over my feeds to the Google reader which seems to be the leading next best thing, which is hard to say considering their terrible interface (I tell people with a scowl on my face, “it sucks!”). Perhaps Steve Gillmor (quoted in the Ask.com statement) is just upset because he was using Google reader.
I will miss Bloglines and thank the folks that ran it for providing me a daily feed to my favorite places online.