I have to say it, RSS is not dead.
When I read about the death of RSS, I laugh, but I think the point is we need a new platform to consume RSS. It needs to cater to curators, and hubs of influential people.
To some degree Facebook has become a kind of RSS reader, but the king of RSS readers is Google Reader, and we need a new version. It’s hard to think of a way to make Google Reader better. It’s even harder for me to see the value of Google Reader to the non-initiated. It took me well over a year of using google reader everyday for my wife to start using it. It was like I had to infest her with the idea of constantly checking something like google reader.
When the big elephants of tech start talking about RSS, I wonder if they them selves know what they are talking about. We need a new feed reader though if Reader were to open it’s self up, and become a fully fledged platform. We could see a new wave of reader experiments. Now, to some degree, they have become alive, which is insane because Google Reader has no public API – none. There were promise’s years ago, but it hasn’t developed.
You know what Reader does have though, a team of rabid hackers that have reverse engineered Reader. That many people love google reader that some of them dedicate time to document a private API. That has to say something about RSS. Overtime we have seen GUI’s, Net Newswire syncs with google reader, and both the iPhone, and the Android have a couple of readers that sync with Google Reader, none are that good though. Oh, Reeder is awesome, but if you are a power Reader user you will crash it. Reeder is a special level of hell, because it’s beautiful, and I love to use it but seriously, Reeder is the only app to have crashed my iPhone, no kidding it crashed the phone. How is that possible?
New feed readers need to be social. When Reader went social it was awesome probably increased the traffic a lot. New feed readers need to be extendable, an API is a must. Curation tools are missing. I want to have my discovery chain encoded and transmitted every time I share something. I want to know if I am making an impact. This could be almost like a gamification of feed reading. I don’t share because I know people are reading, it just makes it more fun. If such tool existed I am sure it would have a huge uptake with RSS addicts, which could have a large network effect, because the people who consume RSS are also the people most likely to transmit cool, and new things.