At the Ref Desk (2/25/17): Interesting coincidence -- the colleague at Circulation, plus the student worker, plus your's truly -- we all worked as high school students in our high school libraries. Support your local High School Library! [more...]

Rumors of RSS's Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 5/22/11 (11:23pm)

RSS Logo I have a confession to make: I'm becoming somewhat concerned by the direction that people perceive such things as social networking and mobile computing to be heading. This perception seems to lack any perspective as to how we got to where we are and how the lessons of the past are likely to inform developments in the future. Instead what we're treated to are assumptions about the characteristics of technologies that we all agree are still in their relative infancy.

I think I'll write more about this in a later post (or possible article) but one example is the rather hasty postmortem people are ascribing to RSS. Scott Karp touches on this in a post called "How to Fix RSS Redux".

Now it's probably true that fewer people use RSS feed readers and hence fewer people directly access RSS feeds, but that's just one use of RSS. Equally as important at least to my mind is syndication. I mean, who cares how many social networks there are -- my first question is always, how can I hook my feed into them? Since that's currently performed through RSS, it's hard to imagine it going out of style anytime soon.

I guess the important point is that while many now depend on Facebook or Twitter for things they used to get through RSS feed readers, this doesn't completely nullify the other uses that RSS may have. People claiming otherwise may simply be unaware of these alternative uses.