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For practical purposes, RSS could be taken to mean Really-Simple-Syndication. It helps you track websites to check if they’re updated and to automatically fetch you those updates. When you're free, you might want to surf websites but when you want to stay on top of multiple sources of content in an efficient manner, RSS feeds are awesome. I’ve been using Google Reader over the last couple of years and I’ve found it quite excellent for the purpose. It’s a pity that RSS options aren’t provided more often by websites and services.

The future of RSS?

One wonders where RSS is headed. Today's internet companies seem to be pushing it towards oblivion, in favour of "social" sharing. (That term is somewhat of a mystery to me since spamming someone is fairly anti-social behaviour)

Most people aren't even aware of the RSS option. Typically, websites seem to prefer not providing you an RSS option because their business is to keep you on their website for as long as possible. And to let you connect with social networking services so that they can collect your data while you're on the site. And serve you targeted ads. Their aim is not to let you consume content (or whatever else) efficiently.

Personal comments

I haven't found any RSS aggregator and reader that's as easy to use (and keyboard friendly) as Google Reader. Feedly seems interesting and I'd like to take it for a spin sometime. I also don't like these services needing you to have an account. I don't want to trust them with aggregated data on what I read and what I click on. I wish for an alternative to Google Reader which is open source, cross-platform and at least as usable. I should check out a few interesting Firefox/Chromium apps for this. Some social discovery features (open to interpretation) would be an added bonus, but I believe that social networks (circa 2012) can not replace RSS for sharing something substantial.

Sharing ideas and content is very difficult to do over a medium which wants you to type ~150 characters (which is the level of communication expected of KG students) or share pictures accompanied with text (what we did as 3-year-olds).

I don’t want to follow repetitive sources of noise. I want to follow intelligent content. Maybe I should quit social networking, or at least stop hoping to find intellectual stimulation and quality content from my social network.



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Published

2012-07-18

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