Sadly on Friday Bloglines announced that they will be shutting down the site on Friday. Why? What does this mean?
Officially they cite focus, but really it's a shrinking non-profitable product. Other sites like Netvibes and Pageflakes have worked to integrate and try and monetize their users better, they've branded and added features like podcasting. The RSS aggregator itself has been completely commoditized by browsers, email and even some OS'. Worse than that is Twitter. When RSS came out, it was a huge productivity hack. "Push" enabled content authors to get content to all audiences without them having to continually check for themselves. Getting an RSS update was knowing when new content was there as quick as you could check your page. It was like real time. But it wasn't, now twitter - that is real-time.
While RSS has grown immensely in popularity (hence the commoditization) anyone I know who doesn't bear a self-appointed geek badge doesn't know or use RSS. In that same category of users, they aren't using twitter either, but it is gaining popularity. Most sites and content authors do publish content to twitter. RSS to twitter is a popular go-between but not mandatory.
RSS has been sacrificed by real-time communications like Twitter. RSS had its time and is certainly not dead but it is clearly on the decline. What was a simple, promising and popular technology has been eclipsed by the next big thing. Sooner or later it happens to the best of us.
RSS v. Twitter