RSS might very well be one of the most overlooked technologies out there. We all use it, to read, to get content on different pages, to promote our content and our influence, but we rarely talk about it, there are a handful of articles on strategies, best practices and the likes. But there are special plugins to enhance your feed, there is RSS feed advertising, there are buttons showing RSS readers numbers. So here’s the paradox: if the technology is actually important, why do we fail to talk about it?
As it happens to some technologies, they are extremely useful, but lack a certain coolness factor, so we ignore them. We use them, we appreciate their value, but they are almost nonexistent in what we say, write or recommend. And then a comment someone makes that they have subscribed to an RSS feed reminds us that we depend on it!
For example, the RSS technology powers the following for me:
- my blogs’ feeds, which makes them easier to keep up with for my readers
- my reading list – blogs, online magazines, you name it, I have subscribed and I check their feed daily. I only go on their website to comment, tweet the article if I find it relevant for those following me or download something if needed,
- promote content – my blog feed is on my LinkedIn page, Facebook page and a bunch of other profiles I have created all over the internet. The RSS delivered version of what I publish here is definitely a more powerful hook than a simple link.
We claim it’s dead, we say it’s not earth-shaking, but how would our lives be without RSS? Wouldn’t we still need a tool to help us keep up with everything that’s published in our field, wouldn’t we need some way to plug in to our blog content from other pages? I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to create new notes for all my posts, I’d forget a few time, and would stop sharing on Facebook. I know I would probably bookmark the several hundreds of blogs I currently read, but would fail miserably at reading them each time they publish something.
How about you? What do you use RSS for? Would you miss it if it disappeared tomorrow? And most importantly, why do you think we’d ignore what’s clearly useful technology just because it’s not as cool or as trendy as others, sometimes less useful, newcomers?