Friday, February 13, 2009

RSS vs Twitter

I have been a huge proponent of NetVibes and start pages in general. RSS has such potential, I still evangelize to friends on the benefits of creating a start page and monitoring their favourite sites. The ability to aggregate great content and not have to actively find it is great. It's basically putting a filter on the web. Sure some articles will lead to others but for the most part I have a "manageable" container of key information.

The manageable concept is a tricky one. As I come across new sites and blogs, I add feeds while deleting few. I find myself now with 9 pages with 12+ feeds per page. There is a lot of great content. The idea of important vs urgent is different in my surfing. A lot of surfing is about staying current. Sticking to the same RSS feeds will keep me current on the topics of my chosen sites but not at a larger view. I as a person look to adapt and stay current. Feeds typically stay focussed on their niches.

Twitter provides a very current view. The noise factor is extremely high on twitter but newer tools like tweetdeck are allowing grouping and filtering to reduce the noise while still bringing current content to the forefront. More and more I rely on my twitter feed for content. People whose blogs I read are a good start, especially those that link. Tracking trends on twitter is fantastic. Many media outlets have multiple twitter feeds which are glorified repeaters of their RSS feed.

Does this mean that twitter will spell the end of RSS. I don't think so, just as RSS hasn't really gone mainstream yet, neither has twitter. Twitter with a more IM feel has a better anchor to draw people in, but RSS still provides a base location for people to find information. Every blogging service / CMS would need to build a direct twitter publishing service without RSS. RSS could become just the middle layer for twitter.

At least until Facebook or Google use their existing offerings to get into micro-blogging...

1 comment:

chrispycrunch said...

i find RSS is useful for PDA's for actual news feeds. Same for my blog.