The Abandoned RSS Feed

Sunday, September 12, 2010


As media evolves, journalists must also retrieve information in new, innovative ways. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are becoming more widely used in the journalism world. Unfortunately, for RSS feeds this means major competition and Twitter is winning.

IAC was forced to shut down its RSS feed, Bloglines, on Friday, September 10th, after owning the information service for only five years.

According to the article "The Death of the RSS Reader" by Joseph Tartakoff, "Bloglines’ shut down was likely inevitable whether IAC had taken better care of it or not, as people have shifted away from RSS readers over the last two years."

Of course it is well known to where the shift has been made. Journalists are moving to Twitter and Facebook because of their accuracy and immediacy for updates in news.

Journalists are able to track down the information they need as well as distribute it as they see fit. This is, in essence, what it means to be a journalist. With real-time news feeds, it is easier for people in every part of the world to share their news.

The reason for dying RSS feeds is not that they are innaccurate or out-of-date, but rather that they provide only news tracking options and lack the highly important news sharing capabilities.

"Recent moves with Google Reader seem to indicate that it too believes that it needs to be more than a straight RSS reader to be successful," Tartakoff said. "Users can now “follow” people who publicly share items via Google Reader and also flag items that they “like.”

By adding these features, Google Reader has made itself more interactive for the consumer and provided means for sharing the news that one would typically find on the site.

In essence, the RSS feed has not been left behind because customers are unsatisfied with the news it brings, it is merely a lack of attention to journalists' increasing needs.

2 comments:

Unknown September 12, 2010 at 11:21 PM  

I also read "The Death of the RSS Reader" and it made me realize two things.

1. I have read alot more news coming from my RSS Feed than my Twitter account. I think news coming from Twitter loose some context due to the 140-characters restriction; thus I always end up reading the SAME news on my RSS Feed, where there's alot more to get me interested.

2. I love the fact that RSS Feeds keep "my news" in order. Again, Twitter does a good job to bring breaking news, but if I you don't catch them soon enough, they get lost and scrolling down through the list of Tweets can get annoying. RSS Feeds keep the news organized so readers won't miss a thing.

And for those two reasons, I believe 'Twitter News' will eventually get annoying and people will use RSS Feeds again, it might take some time though.

LogannRoberts September 15, 2010 at 1:07 AM  

I found this blog and article very interesting. I agree that I like to use my RSS feed because it keeps my news organized and lets me choose what kind of news I want to read about. I also like to keep my news separate from my social networking sites, Facebook particularly.
However, I guess there are a lot of changes being made in how people get their news as technology advances. Just as we do with other changes in our lives, we'll adapt.

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