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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Will RSS Feeds Become Extinct?

Google Reader is going away.  I'm not sure what to make of it because I think the old RSS is a pretty useful bit of technology.  But if Google is throwing in the towel they either don't have faith in the technology or something else is up.  RSS can't go extinct, right?  To be honest I hadn't checked my Google Reader account in a while and I actually heard the news while watching the PCM Tech Help Show with Craig Chamberlin.

See that logo on the left?  I'm sure you've seen it around.  That is symbol for RSS.  For anyone who doesn't know an RSS feed is a "Really Simple Syndication" of a web site or "Rich Site Summery".  I have seen both definitions used.  Even the BigNate84 blog has an RSS feed.  RSS feeds are used so that people can subscribe to blogs or websites that create new content on a regular basis.  Instead of actually visiting this website everyday you can subscribe to the RSS feed through an RSS reader.  Then all you have to do is visit your RSS reader to view all your favorite content in one place.  Think of RSS as a tool that allows you to aggregate your favorite content.

This is kind of a bummer for me since I happen to use Google Reader to organize some of the blogs and YouTube channels that I follow.  I suspect three things could be happening here.  1) Other social media platforms are muscling RSS out of the picture.  2) The RSS format was too clunky for the majority of consumers to really understand and make use of.  3) RSS just wasn't profitable for Google and they are dedicating resources elsewhere.  Now I am in the market for a new RSS Reader, any suggestions?

Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013