I feel that the near-monthly article about the “demise” of RSS misses one crucial point: while the perceived fraction of people using RSS may have gone down over the last decade, it is largely because newer Internet users are more on board with curated news feeds, and RSS users fragmented towards alternatives to Google reader, making them more difficult to see. Virtually all of the GReader users I knew of at the time of shutdown still use Feedly, NewsBlur, or Innoreader.
I agree. RSS is not dead, but those who think that “RSS didn’t take over the entire internet, so it must be dead” are wrong. It’s still a crucial part of podcasts, and many major blog platforms still support it. There are many, many mobile and desktop RSS clients.
But yea, this recurring meme of “RIP RSS” is getting really tiresome.
This article would make a whole lot more sense if its title claimed that the demise is not that of RSS, but rather of end-users’ direct consumption of syndicated feeds via a dedicated RSS reader program. RSS will probably never die for any kind of automated syndication because it’s a robust standard and is sufficiently extensible to accommodate virtually every use case within the context of sharing the title, summary, and metadata of a document.
I don’t remember the last time I used an RSS reader, including Feedly or something sitting on an sleeping heroku dyno. But just a couple of weeks ago I added a series of RSS feeds for variety of services like GitHub, Travis, etc to a Slack room meant to aggregate service status.
While this article is an excellent recap of the Syndication Wars (in which I was active in the sidelines) it also tries to resurrect a vaguely Utopian ideal of widely decentralized blogs that all shared stuff via RSS and it would end hunger and cure cancer and give us ponies. The same hope was expressed for stuff like The Well back in the day.
I follow RSS news feeds via Mastodon. I ended up writing a bot to watch feeds and post them in the timeline. I find it works pretty well, I just have a pinned news column that I browse through.
I’d say RSS is the majority of my Internet use, behind email. I rarely open a web browser these days - maybe every few days, if that.