Peter Stuifzand

What? RSS is dead? Again?

Steve Rubel wrote:

The decade is coming to an end. And with it, so has the era of feeds too faded - though you can argue it never got off the ground. Even with real-time technologies like pubsubhubbub, RSS today feels slow and it’s clear its best days are behind it. Feed reading, like blogging, feels “very 2005.” I wasn’t convinced until recently, however.

You could say that I’m not convinced yet, either. Still I wouldn’t know what I would do without RSS.

It seems a lot of out technologies are only useful for people who use a computer all the time. A person who isn’t sitting behind his computer will have hard time writing tweets. Yes, you can use a fancy phone, that lets you write a tweet. But not everyone has that kind of phone.

The same problem happens with feeds. I read a lot of blogs, but most people I know will just go the website to read the stuff they care about. In that same place they can also interact with the community, by adding comments or liking and sharing posts. This is harder (or impossible) with RSS.

About a month ago people were talking about “pushing RSS down the stack”. I would say that there is more of an opportunity in building applications and services on top of RSS. And again on top of those applications and services. RSS is and always was a protocol on top of HTTP.

There is room for creating applications that will help and you read your feeds. We need a better way of creating conversations outside of it. We need a protocol for writing and reading comments, liking and sharing posts inside RSS, that is about as simple as RSS itself is. Link to the comment form of the article and let applications post comments in a programmatic way using REST. The same could be done with liking.

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