Why not RSS?

Why RSS?.

There’s an interesting cross-blog discussion going on about RSS. Follow the links:

  • “Maybe one day Corante will get RSSfeeds. I almost completely missed this Part II. Almost nobody reads blogs anymoe. Everything comes in through RSS.” [Marc’s Voice]
  • “Actually, a tiny technical elite reads RSS. Everyone else reads on the web. Maybe that will change. I’m not sure.” [EVHEAD]
  • “If I grab an RSS feed of his site, half the pleasure of visiting is taken away from me. The issue of RSS is about more than just textuality. Websites are still to some extent billboards, as they were back in 1995. But the slogan is often, ‘Come for the scenery; stay for the entertainment’.” [three legged pi]

Of course, all of you know where I come down in this debate. If you’re a casual blog reader, then that last course of action is for you. But once you start reading 20+ blogs on a daily basis, an RSS news aggregator becomes a huge advantage. There’s no way I could read 190 sites consistently and thoroughly without one. So at some point, you have to decide what’s more important to you – the style or the substance. In my case, it’s the substance.

And Corante, my foot is tapping while I continue waiting to read your content….

[The Shifted Librarian]

Why isn’t the question “Wny not RSS?” If you are writing because you think you have something to say what are you putting any roadblocks up to people reading it? If Joe is willing to come to my front door and explain things to me, why would I ever make the trip to Suzy’s for essentially the same information? And why should I have to go over to Suzy’s just to find out whether there’s anything new to see?

I suppose I can accept that someone wouldn’t want to provide full text feeds, but why would anyone refuse to at least publish headlines to bring me back to the site whose design I’m supposed to appreciate? Somebody help me understand the other side of this argument, cause I just don’t get it.