Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, August 30, 2021

RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) is what all the cool kids are using to power their way through the Web. Uber-geeks use RSS readers to get the lowdown on hundreds of websites in only a few minutes.

In fact, some hardcore users are so hooked on their readers that they won’t even look at a website unless it’s got an RSS (or comparable XML, Atom or similar) feed. Which begs the question: Is a website fully-functional if it doesn’t sport a web feed? More to the point for the cutting edge of Web content creation, is a blog truly a blog if it doesn’t have a feed?

Granted, a blog, conceptually, is nothing more than a web page (most likely maintained via some sort of content mangement system). But while I’m interested in what these bloggers have to say, without an RSS feed, I’m unlikely to visit their blogs again, unless I happen upon them linked from someplace else. My mode of interaction with the Internet has changed so drastically over the last 2 years that, without a feed, they’re barely on my radar screen. Which raises the question: at this point, is it a blog if it doesn’t come in RSS? I’m tempted to say no.

Obviously, Greg Gershman at Blogdigger is biased, as his whole business model depends on the promotion of Web syndication feeds. But his view is shared by plenty of others.

Personally, I’ve only dabbled with newsreaders, and don’t find them to particularly enhance my online time. But others consider them indispensible. Any thoughts out there?

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/30/2004 11:56:38 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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3 Feedbacks
  1. I’ve missed the boat on them (feeds, RSS, whatever), technology wise. I barely even know what they are or what they do.

    Im being a little facetious there. I understand what they ‘do’, I suppose, but the question “Is a website fully-functional if it doesn’t sport a web feed?” seems redundant to me. Isnt a ‘website’ really the same thing as a ‘web feed’? Its information being made available on the web..arent they essentially the same thing?

    I think maybe for the uber-tech-geeks out there, this stuff may be indispensible, but no one who reads my site has ever asked for it (granted, thats a small group), so its not important to me, on the sending or recieving end.

    Comment by The Belt — 08/31/2004 @ 09:22:07 AM

  2. Good points, The Belt. I tend to overestimate the technical knowledge of “regular” people. This stuff needs to be a whole lot easier to use, and the tools improved to make it better. I was writing more from the perspective of an Internet user, how my mode of interaction has completely changed now that I’ve discovered blogs and feeds.

    But obviously you are right, a blog is fully functional with or without a feed. But they aren’t the same thing.

    Comment by Greg — 08/31/2004 @ 10:27:20 AM

  3. Try the online RSS reader Bloglines with the iRider browser. Right click on the stories that interest you, and irider will pre-load them while you’re reading other pages. Very nifty.

    I’ve tried the standalone readers and, like you, never quite got what all the fuss was about.

    Comment by Tom McMahon — 09/01/2021 @ 08:50:36 AM

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