Is it the end of RSS?
The past week was very interesting, we saw big announcements; we have a new Pope, Samsung revealed the new Galaxy 4 and Google killed Google Reader. The last one of these announcements is the one I would like to talk about because it represents and reflects the changing times we are living in right now.
Abduzeedo started in 2006, it was the boom of the Web 2.0. Social sites like Slashdot, Digg and Delicious (del.icio.us), Flikr were the king. Twitter was 2 years away from really becoming mainstream and Facebook was still cool. I remember that the most important thing at that time was to have an RSS feed on your website so people could subscribe and receive news automatically. It was like magic.
RSS was the most important way to share your content. Apple and Firefox proudly announced that their products could easily subscribe and read RSS feeds. We over at Abduzeedo, were on the same boat, we were fans, and Abduzeedo had to have RSS for everything.
RSS Rich Site Summary (originally RDF Site Summary, often dubbed Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. - Wikipedia
Most of our traffic always came from RSS readers, it helped us to spread the blog to more people that kept receiving our new posts. That wasn’t only with Abduzeedo, other blogs were doing the same, especially in the design community. PSDTuts, Smashingmagazine and others were feeding the needs of millions of designers and enthusiasts around the world. It seemed perfect, endless amount of information automatically delivered to your computer. What could be better than that?
After almost 7 years a lot of things have changed. Twitter, Facebook and Google+ allied with Flipboard, Feedly, Pulse and other news app became the RSS of this new era. Some of these apps still rely on RSS to get the info and I think that won’t change but what changed was that people are not subscribing to RSS feeds are they used to be.
When was the last time you subscribe to a RSS feed, and what was it?
Think about that for a second. I believe some people reading the blog won’t even know what RSS is, but that’s the reality. Things keep evolving and so do we, and when Google said that they would shutdown Google Reader, that was those milestones that we have in history.
In my opinion RSS will be around for a long time because it’s really simple way, as the name says, to share content. However with phones and tablets, companies are able to deliver the content in much better and more beautiful way, look at Flipboard, Currents and Feedly. The biggest problem for me is that will limit the possibilities to discover new things. We will be always followers of what people curate to us. It’s understandable with the overflow of information, but it’s dangerous because at the end of the day, Abduzeedo and other amazing sites were borne and flourished because Google Reader and other RSS readers.
Anyways, I just wanted to share my thoughts about this subject. It’s been a long time since we talked about the blog and how things are changing. We will start doing that more often because once again, more things are changing especially the way people consume design content, but that’s for the next post.
What's your opinion about the future of the web and RSS? Share with us.