Twitter to kill RSS?

on September 12th, 2008

It’s interesting how Twitter can take over one’s life, in a very short period of time.

I suspect this is more true for the SEO/blogging crowd than for “normal” people. First, because we’re living most of our lives online; and second, because we’re involved in so many communities it becomes really difficult to keep track of all your contacts unless you can find them all in one place. In my case, this place is Twitter.

I personally almost never find out about new SEO posts from my RSS subscriptions; more often than not I come across them on Twitter, as people microblog about their blog (ahem, soon we’ll nanoblog about the microblog about the blog).

The embarrassing example

I came across this awesome marketing and strategy consultant recently; he’s got an excellent blog I wanted to keep an eye on. So what did I do? I emailed the guy asking if he’s on Twitter! What else…

He was very polite – he’s very busy as it is, he doesn’t have time for yet another online form of interaction. But I got seriously frustrated. Why? WHY? It would make MY life so much easier if he would allocate a few hours of his non-existing free time to Twittering!

Something dark must be at work here. And hence the question:

Do we really need RSS anymore?

Remember, we’re talking about the SEO/blogging crowd. Sure, we need RSS for syndicating our content on other sites, such as Reuters and the like; we need RSS for the people who never heard of Twitter and Plurk and FriendFeed.

But do we need it to measure our popularity in the online world? Should we replace the Feedburner FeedCount badge with a Twitter FollowersCount one?

So this is my RSS motion for today

Keep your RSS feeds if you must, for the reasons mentioned above. But make sure you’re on Twitter please, as it makes life so much easier for people who are trying to keep an eye on your work without having to visit 10 different syndication platforms a day.

Any thoughts out there?

UPDATE: Funny enough, 5 minutes after posting this I came across a very good post about the the value of RSS feeds in reaching the “normal” people: Five Ways to Use Social Media to Reach People Who Don’t Use Social Media. A fine kettle of fish! Still, it doesn’t invalidate my question: I was talking about reaching online marketers and bloggers. This is still a very different kettle of fish.

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5 Responses to “Twitter to kill RSS?”

  1. I have yet to really get excited about using Twitter, but I frequently use RSS.

    Susan´s last blog post: Top Broadway Tickets for the Week site: [site]

  2. Yea, I don’t really use Twitter at all myself, but I do still have a handful of select RSS feeds that I always check. The main thing for me is to just make sure they’re ones I really care about. Twitter, eh, not so much for me; just not my thing.

  3. limeshot says:

    Hi Nyssa, thanks for stopping by. I agree with both points, I don’t actually expect ‘normal’ people to take up Twitter. But then again, they don’t really subscribe to RSS feeds much.

    AT any rate, I suppose the population I was referring to in this post was primarily the online marketers and bloggers, who are more often than not pretty savvy when it comes to social media, including Twitter.

  4. Nyssa says:

    I have to agree to some extent, although as Arjen as pointed out, RSS will never be replaced, for those reasons mentioned. Normal people don’t really use Twitter (although, I have managed to get a few “normal” people to join).

    However, I rarely use RSS feeds. I just find they build up too much, and I forget to check them, so I do somewhat rely on Twitter for new blog articles.

    Nyssa´s last blog post: Stuck in the UK & Anjunabeats Wallpapers site: [site]

  5. Arjen says:

    Twitter is a great way to communicate with others on line. I think I have to use it more to get real advantage of it.

    In my opinion RSS will not be replaced for syndicating blog content, just because most of the ‘normal’ people don’t know about Twitter, just like you say. As ‘normal’ people can be a big part of our regular readers, I think the Feedburner Feedcount will stay for a while.

    Good blog!