Is RSS Dead?

by Martin Malden

A couple of years ago RSS was THE big thing.

If you didn’t have RSS available on your site you were doomed to Internet Marketing failure.

I had multiple ways and places people could sign up to my RSS feed, and I used various encouragements to get them to do so.

Today I have only one place, and no encouragements.

Why the change?

RSS simply hasn’t become the ubiquitous service it was once projected to be.

It’s only people who are working online who are enthusiastic about it. People who don’t work online by and large don’t get it.

These days people can get your updates via Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and probably a dozen other places – all intuitive and user friendly services for people who aren’t web-heads.

So is RSS now dead?

No – but the way I use it has changed.

I use RSS to get my blog posts onto Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo.

Once they’re on those services they’re seen and followed by many, many more people than I have subscribed to my RSS feed.

I do still have an RSS subscribe link in my sidebar.

But I also used to have one in my navigation bar and I also used to use the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin, which was designed to encourage people to sign up to my RSS feed.

I removed them, because I preferred to use the space for other things and because most non web-heads aren’t interested in subscribing via RSS.

They’d rather follow me on Twitter.

So should a blog or a website have an RSS feed?

Yes – because it enables you to syndicate your articles far and wide as a ‘behind the scenes’ distribution mechanism.

But I think it’s a waste of valuable space to spend too much effort encouraging visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed, unless you’re writing for a tech/web savvy crowd.

What do you think?

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