RSS is dead. Long live Twitter!
RSS is dead? What does that mean? Why is Twitter better?
I’m getting this question more and more from students, clients, etc. Others bloggers at TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, and others have cast their vote. Here are my thoughts…
For those of you that are not familiar with RSS, don’t worry about what it stands for. (No one really knows for sure and it doesn’t matter anyway.) More importantly here is what RSS DOES…
RSS is the method used to track blogs and other content that is updated online. You typically use an RSS reader such as Google Reader. You tell the reader which RSS feeds (typically blogs) you want to keep track of. Then, you can use the reader to see the latest updates on all the RSS feeds you track.
Here’s the problem…
If you’ve used a RSS reader (many have not), you will likely realize that this feels a lot more like work than fun. Every time you look at your reader, you typically have tons of new “unread stuff”. This new stuff may make you feel like you’re missing out. Or even worse, you may spend more and more time trying to keep up on all of it.
Keeping up on email is already a chore for some. Who needs this extra stuff that keeps building up, right?
Well, not really.
Just like anything else, you need to control it. It should not control you. Personally, I still use an RSS reader to track all of the “announcements” from each of the official blogs of each search engine. I check it now and then and only read what is interesting to me. It’s a good way to make sure I don’t miss anything important in my primary industry (search engine marketing).
So why is RSS dead? Why is Twitter better?
RSS will always have a place and is not really dead. Nor will it ever die. It’s a great tool, for many other reasons besides using an RSS reader as described as above.
However, many do prefer watching Twitter instead of an RSS reader. Why? It’s more fun! Also, it’s easier!
See, when you watch Twitter, you will get links to blog posts in your industry (if you follow the right people). However, you don’t get links to EVERY post. You just get the ones that the people you follow recommend. This serves as a natural filter and therefore there is less to keep up on.
Also, it has to do with the way people view the Twitter stream. Many do not try to read EVERY tweet. If some tweets pass by you (especially if you follow a lot of people), it’s no big deal.
See? Less stress.
So what does this mean to you?
If you are a blogger, you probably already link to your new posts from your Twitter account. Smart.
But why not create another Twitter account that will automatically mention whenever you create a new post? We’re doing that over here.
I normally post to http://twitter.com/coreycreed.
But for this blog, I use http://twitter.com/thejunglemap