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Replacement Measures

  • The Cloud replaced FTP
  • Twitter replaced RSS
  • The iPhone personalized the Blackberry

There’s only one way to mainstream: Remove the ugliness on the front-end and make the software intuitive for everybody.

Streamline the tools, make it pretty, and call it something else. Everything is but a continuation of something else.

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The Old Reader: behind the scenes – What Not Dying Looks Like

In fact, any number of companies can go out of business, but nobody can stop anybody from publishing and reading RSS feeds.

Google popularized the RSS feed – it even bought Feedburner – and then unwisely turned its head to focus on Google+ which is a wasteland.

RSS is not a product but Google sure made it appear that way once with Reader. Now RSS is just proving its durability as a service, running like the main cables of the Internet.

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Content economics, part 5: news

Social media made blogging easier:

Twitter and Facebook — and Pinterest, for that matter, and the rest of the social media universe — did two important things. Firstly they made publishing incredibly easy; and secondly they rewarded publishing by giving contributors immediate likes and replies and favs and other evidence that people really cared about what you were publishing. It was the endorphin rush familiar to old-school bloggers, democratized and accelerated.“

People share the news on social networks and therefore serve as aggregators. No wonder no one knows what RSS is.

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Readers aren’t dead because reading isn’t dead.

Andrew McLaughlin, CEO Digg/Instapaper

Initial thoughts:  I like the Digg Reader‘s minimalist and “calm” design; it’s most popular feature could be a key differentiator separating it from Feedly and Feedbin

However, right now I’m using Feedly mainly for utility (Mark as Read, multiple views).  It also connect withs the Reeder app, which is the best RSS reading client for iPhone. 

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Filters

Digital information is hyper-abundant. We all need a way to filter out the irrelevant and subscribe only the content that appeals to us.

The genius of Twitter and RSS feeds is that we choose from the people and sources we want to hear from. Information suck is a big deal; hence why millions of people are searching for a viable alternative to Google Reader

People want to remain informed. It’s what Seth Godin refers to as permission marketing, except social media is a faster version of email as a way to receive mass marketing messages.

Filtering information is just like filtering coffee. Coffee isn’t potable until you first grind the beans and then filter out the ground beans with hot water. We can only consume that which is usable.

Reading is a personal experience. I can’t imagine picking up a newspaper today just to find the two or three interesting articles; not to mention having to wash my hands after all that print.

The news that’s fit to print today is one that’s all digital and highly filterable.

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The power of the RSS reader

Marco details his best practices for using RSS:  

If a site posts many items each day and you barely read any of them, delete that feed. If you find yourself hitting “Mark all as read” more than a couple of times for any feed, delete that feed. You won’t miss anything important. If they ever post anything great, enough people will link to it from elsewhere that you’ll still see it.

Yup, and you can apply the same rules to your Twitter feed.  

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Twitter, Not an RSS Replacement

Twitter is not an RSS news replacement; Twitter is an additional socially curated news source.

You can’t rely on your followers to inform you of every nook and cranny in your interests. You still need a personal list of sources.

Sure, blogs and newspapers tweet links but they don’t tweet every link. You’re bound to miss something important if you just use Twitter as your news source.

We need to pull from multiple sources to shape our minds and opinions. The RSS reader is therefore still useful and relevant.