RSS: interesting or boring? (Hint @marshallk and @louisgray, we're not normal)

Marshall Kirkpatrick takes on the “RSS is dead” meme, started by Steve Gillmor, but really started by all those people who haven’t been using RSS much anymore.

My answer to Marshall: I’m not in the news business anymore, but if I were I’d keep Twitter up on screen. I’ve been looking closely at Google Reader’s latest features, Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed and I gotta say that most of what shows up on TechMeme shows up in my Twitter feed up to a day earlier.

Over the past two weeks I’ve been doing a little experiment: can I outrace TechMeme and TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb and all the others? The answer is a resounding YES. But it requires following a very select group of people on Twitter. Believe it or not, the same group puts most of their items into FriendFeed and Facebook, too. It’s very rare that I see news in Facebook or FriendFeed that I don’t see in Twitter first. It’s even rarer that I see news in Google Reader. Why?

RSS isn’t real time. Deal with it. Yes, it’s moving more and more real time, but I guarantee you that this post will be in FriendFeed and Twitter before it hits Google Reader. Why? I put it there manually the second I hit post. I’ve noticed that most of the top content producers (you call them writers or bloggers) do the same thing.

Anyway, want to see how this works? I’m watching 2,391 people and brands on Twitter. That’s FAR MORE than I could read on Google Reader, by the way. Headlines in Google Reader just aren’t satisfying and reading full text slows you down so you must be far choosier on who you listen to.

That means I see new Tweets every few seconds. Easy to keep up with, if you are dedicated.

What do I do with them? I click “favorite” on my favorite Tweets. In just about two weeks I have built up a database of about 1,700 favorites. It’s good stuff, but it’s mostly useless unless you only want to see the last 300.

What’s missing from my favorites? Noise. I’ve filtered it out. But to do that I’ve probably had to read about 100,000 Tweets. Maybe more. And THAT is the disadvantage of Twitter and why Louis Gray does have a point when he says he still loves Google Reader.

The thing is none of the four of us are normal. We are ALL news junkies. I love knowing what’s going on in people’s lives and what they are passionate about in the tech industry and I want to hear it directly from them. I can’t get that by just reading a newspaper. I can’t get that from TechMeme, just look at my favorite tweets. How many of them go to TechMeme or Digg? Not many.

I’ve also started playing with a couple of new feed reading tools. One is Feedly. It only works on Firefox, unfortunately, but it sits on top of Google Reader and is very nice. Still, I like Twitter better for some reason. Yesterday LazyFeed came out, I’m working on a video with the founder that will be up in the morning, but it does the RSS hard work for me (it goes and finds feeds on topics I’m interested in so I don’t need to know anything about RSS). The thing is it isn’t nearly as interesting as Twitter. Why? I have no idea who wrote all the stuff that’s coming in there. For normal people Facebook is far better than all of these ways of learning the news.

I personally am bored with the whole topic. I don’t need more feeds. I don’t need better readers.

What do I need?

Better filters. That’s why I got so excited by FriendFeed. It’s why I’m playing around with human curation and all that (which proves again that Facebook is going to win this game).

Anyway, to me RSS is no longer interesting to talk about. The battlefield has moved on. RSS will be used by lots of people for a long time, but, honestly, when I give talks to people I show them FriendFeed, Facebook, and Twitter and all the tools that play in those. I don’t usually open up Google Reader anymore. Why? It’s moved into the boring camp for early adopter audiences and it’s still too weird for late adopter audiences who are hearing more about Twitter and Facebook.

What about you? Is RSS interesting or boring to you? Why?

Comments

  1. This post showed up outside of google reader first because google reader sucks. It's definitely not quick. But RSS feeds are were a lot of things get announced, then some of the important things that got blogged about get picked up by bloggers and some of them go straight to Twitter. A gurantee a bunch of the things you're finding on Twitter get blogged about first, and that's how people find them to twitter about them. I “broke” (to a general audience) the news tonight about what I believe is the first iPhone Augmented Reality app in the app store. Where did I find out about that? On a tumblr blog via Lazyfeed. I do find a lot of news on Twitter, but I find a lot of it on RSS and I do a lot of monitoring of RSS feeds as well. I don't think that's just for news junkies, either. I think people in just about any occupation could benefit from a good dashboard at least, fueled by RSS feeds.

  2. Jeez I'm sorry about the terrible spelling and grammar in that comment. I gotta go to bed.

  3. My goal in consuming RSS is not to be normal. It's to be informed, and to help other people be informed. I believe that selective RSS (even at the volume I consume it) has the highest level of signal to noise against any other network. Twitter has among some of the worst. Your pruning of Twitter is a great experiment, one which I absolutely believe will have you beating Techmeme and other sites. After all, Techmeme doesn't break news… it collects news, via RSS, from somewhere else, which often publishes to Twitter at the same time.

    The topic of RSS is dead is dead enough I'm not blogging on it. Why give the guy who is so very very wrong even more page views? I love it when I see people abandon tools that I intend to improve using, so that I can separate from the pack. For those who can't hack blogging or RSS feed consumption, yes, please stop. Retreat to Twitter where things are easer and where being broken is accepted as a way of life.

  4. I agree. But the good stuff does hit Twitter, and hits Twitter very quickly. If I were running a news organization (I am not) I would do exactly what you're doing. Or, even better yet, I would build relationships with people all over the world to have some chance of getting the news leaked to me before it even hits blogs. That seems to be the way most of the real news is broken lately. Me? I pick up the crumbs after you all are done eating the bread and go and shoot a video. :-)

  5. RSS is important to me at least, cause twitter alone doesn't show the big picture. I still love the socalled 'pointless babble' and will not get myself a second (filter) account on twitter, lazyfeed does that for me.

  6. Lazyfeed is a fantastic product, as I've written about quite a few times. But saying Google Reader sucks is as short-sighted as saying RSS is dead. Google Reader is still the very best way to consume lots of feeds quickly and sharing it via a link blog. There is no substitute.

    You are right about Twitter news almost always leading somewhere else. You just need more than 140 characters to cover something – and that's almost always linking to a blog or news site, powered by RSS.

  7. Robert – I think it depends on how you interpret RSS. If it's translated as Really Simple Syndication, it can be said that it's slower than several other ways of discovering information. But if you translate it as Rich Site Summary, it's one of the most important infrastructures of the Internet.

    Marshall – It's awesome that you found it with Lazyfeed. I really agree with your last sentence :)

  8. Most of my favorites are, indeed, links leading elsewhere. Google Reader sucks for me because of the same reason that Twitter sucked two weeks ago: I've added too many people there that I don't care about and I haven't pruned my feed list lately because FriendFeed and Twitter had just taken over my usage. I think I'll create a new account and start clean.

  9. Louis, Google Reader doesn't support authenticated feeds, doesn't allow you to change caching times, checks single-subscriber feeds very rarely, doesn't have a good iPhone reader, gets totally bogged down if you have more than 1k feeds — for me, that sucks!

  10. Go back 3 1/2 years and I argued the future of RSS is for pushing private data and premium subscriptions

    Guess what? I still think that is the best use for it, but Google Reader still doesn't support authenicated feed. Google did manage to kill RSS.

  11. RSS is boring, but it's still incredibly useful. RSS is like the cement of the social web. I'm interested in exciting looking buildings which are put together with cement, but cement itself is boring.

  12. Robert Scoble for your knowledge area “Technology” FriendFeed and Twitter are fast and effective. If you move down the curve of Technology lets call it the Technology Gap, there is still a large group who are still creating PDF that they email back and forth to spread their meme. So for me RSS has a much deeper penetration. The key for both as you say are the filters, Feedly is very nice, and it plays nice with Yahoo Pipes. So I prefer FriendFeed by far but must use RSS for my Knowledge area.

  13. Is RSS supposed to be magically exciting? It's like going “Oh look, its an INI file! WOW!” or “OMG JSON LOOK AT IT.”

    RSS isn't really exciting, but it does what its supposed to. It works. It allows syndication and extensions, which would allow for something really exciting ;)

    In the end though, RSS itself is boring – but I use it, a lot. It may be boring, but its still important to me =p

  14. We should be careful about mixing up technology and apps/services. RSS is a technology/protocol. Blog readers and Twitter are apps/services built on top of technology. I think the main point of differentiation here is that using a human-powered network for finding information (e.g., Twitter) seems to get good news faster than subscribing to a fixed set of rss feeds through a blog reader (e.g., Google reader). Personally, I agree with this. But, saying a human-powered network is better and faster than subscribing to RSS feeds is different from saying RSS is boring. IMHO, I think the future will be a human-powered network based on RSS++, where RSS++ is RSS plus a layer of smarts that let people publish and subscribe to feeds with people, interests, and intents in mind. Twitter with retweets is a service that just happens to allow humans to power an information network, but I think we need to be more deliberate in how we develop and deploy technology protocols that build this capability into the fabric of the network so that human-powered information networks can be used across a number of apps and services.

  15. My biggest challenge in removing the reliance on RSS is my real lack of understanding in how to manage real time data well enough. I find that being in the opposite hemisphere to most news, if I am not online at the time I can easily miss a days news and rely on Feedly to read it all the next morning. I am not a huge fan of delayed, syndicated news however need to spend a bit more time understanding how to better manage my news in any other way.

  16. RSS is important to me because I'm not able to follow Twitter 24/7 or read every tweet.Google reader will catch the stuff that I want to and ensure it doesn't get missed. It also allows me to keep track of what I have & haven't read.

    In fact I unfollowed anyone / thing on Twitter that did nothing but post their RSS feeds. I follow people on twitter to connect with people/entities. Their feeds should go somewhere else.

    That's not to say RSS readers don't need improving mind, but I can't see them going away.

  17. I love RSS because there is so much potential for creatively using it in so many ways. The only real limit is in the developer's imagination.

    I would have to say the most useful RSS reader I have ever used (Pop-up Cody), automatically shows me new posts from my favorite site within 15 seconds of the post being made. (my forum posts show up in that long before they show up in friendfeed).

    Unfortunately it's only for that one site and the feed url is hard coded into it.

    Since it is quite specialized to the site it was made for, it includes some features you won't find in other RSS readers, such as post count total of the person that made that post, link to their profile, link to send them a donation, their average number of posts per day, when they were last active, how long they have been a member, and current status. It also shows who was the topic starter and in which section the topic was started.

    Btw, it was RSS that brought me here to comment on your blog. I was messing around in Newzie, one of the greatest desktop RSS readers ever made for Windows, designed for speed reading a large volume of feeds. I could not even begin to explain how many options you have with it and all the different ways you can view your feeds. It completely blows Google Reader away. The only reason for using Google Reader is if you are into the social stuff they added. (I just wish Newzie was still actively being developed, because there is so much more they could add to it)

  18. I have just come back from two weeks holiday and have given up Twitter (for the second time). The reason is that I do not need to get my news real time. There is no real benefit to me. RSS works – it lets me browse in my own time when it works for me. By having Twitter up all day I end up working for Twitter.

  19. Yes we are ALL news junkies, however we all consume news in different ways.. Real-time is great when you can focus on following, however there are also 'offline' moments where aggregation thru readers is great. Is the last more boring, probably yes… but it's still very practical.

    RSS can be sexy too, but with a different purpose. I like Lazyfeed, because it suits lazy people like me. I sometimes just want to wander around the web to learn something new. Lazyfeed gives me a starting point by searching for some topics.

  20. I'm amazingly uninterested in “real-time” defined by being several hours, or a day, faster than something else. I use RSS to keep up with deep technical insights written by people I respect, and for general time-wasting reading material for down-moments in the day. Google Reader is excellent for this, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

    Facebook status updates / Twitter / Friendfeed are not used for the same thing – but I don't use them for news either. I use those to connect with my friends.

    For news, I go to news sites. I have a folder of bookmarks that I open when I really have some downtime, and can afford to waste it on the crap that passes for news these days.

  21. When is news late? Or Early? It depends on the content and the readers needs.
    If you are wondering if you should to take an umbrella then 24 hours late is very late for weather news.
    If you are interested in commentary on the latest novel released by Tom Wolfe then 24 hours is probably unnecessarily speedy.
    Your (Scoble) need/enjoyment of knowing facts before others is unlike the needs of most others.
    I would prefer another type of filter/button, one that allowed authors to rank their posts. Effectively saying if you only read 3 of my items this week – make it this 3.

  22. This is really only half true.

    Sure it shows up faster in Twitter, but the signal to noise ratio is also vastly worse. If you have all day to sit there and sort through thousands of people you follow on twitter… great. But most people have day jobs that involve something other than social media. They need to get information and get moving.

    You're also relying on 1 single service to be up and running, which we all know isn't something you can rely on. This will never change as Twitter is a sole company not a network or standard. At least with RSS if Google Reader started to suck, you know another company will spring up and offer something to entice us all to switch. Nobody would skip a beat.

    Twitter? Rebuild your network somewhere else.

    Twitter only beats RSS if your time and effort are free.

  23. I know I'm late to this party, but I'm also a perfect example of why RSS still matters. Since I'm on the East Coast I would have completely missed this topic if it wasn't for my feed reader as the portion of my Twitter stream with this topic has long passed. I know that everyone is interested and pushing for information to be more real-time in nature, but the solution only benefits early adopters like Louis, Marshall and Robert and doesn't scale well for tier 2 adopters (people with job schedules, non-techn-centric, etc.) or even worse for more mainstream technology/internet users.

  24. 'Interesting or boring' is an interesting question.

    'Useful or not' would be easier to answer.

    Subscribing to RSS feeds is useful for those who don't want to go check 50 different sources.

    It's really useful for publishers who can push out their content in different locations: again, lowering the barriers to get the info out there.

    For people who want to be on the bleeding edge of news, not so much.

    It occurs to me that that even goes back to the name “Really Simple Syndication”. RSS is about the widespread distribution, not the immediacy.

    Oh, right, your actual question. Is it interesting or boring. I guess as a strategist, I don't expound the virtues of an RSS feed to a client. Yeah, it's kinda a given if you have a blog, twitter feed, etc. But I don't expect great returns just for having a feed: I'm more likely to want to DO something with the feed to really make it useful for users. Because nope, I don't even try to tackle Google reader anymore.

  25. I think this discussion is very interesting, but we are missing a point here:

    While RSS is not real time and FriendFeed and Twitter are real time, the latter two require much more effort not only on following what is happening (even if you follow only a few selected users) but also on filtering what should be really read and purging what is only a selfish blab published in a timeline.

    I think the real important issue on Twitter and Friendfeed (I must confess I enjoy Friendfeed much more) is the conversation.

    If we keep pursuing speed in news we will get to a point that journalists will no longer work as expected. No one will chase news, just replicate headlines (that is what's happening in Twitter). And the reader will not get in-depth stories. That is really sad.

    On the other hand, when we talk about RSS we might not talk about something that is not as fast as Twitter, but is much more effective (because it's registered as a feed) and you will access it – no matter what happens – with your reader and will not get lost in a river of blabs.

    To finish mi thoughts on this issue (for now) I must say that real time conversations are not the replacement for RSS. While RSS is for content, real time conversation tools stand for, well, conversations. Sometimes we do not want to have a dialog real time… Some other times we do. I endorse Scoble on the Twitter presence and Friend Feed aggregation as well as the recommendation to keep my eyes open and attention focused on Google Reader. But I recommend we use these different tools for different purposes.

  26. Not RSS is boring. The whole RSS/Twitter discussion is boring.

    I'm so tired of all the Coke vs. Pepsi, Mc Donalds vs. Burger King, RSS vs. Twitter stuff.

    Really, you prefer the Big Mac? I don't care when I'm enjoying my Whopper.

    We should be thankful to have so many things to choose. And whatever may be your point: RSS and Twitter both are amazing tools which in my opinion made the web-experience “better”.

    I use them differently, so I love 'em both.

  27. I think you are mistaking the need to consume fast and first with the need to be informed overall. While I am hooked into Facebook/Twitter and use Twitter to glance at what is going on in the moment, it is not something that can be kept up with for most with lives not focused on technology.

    If I am in meetings for my job for hours, or even sleeping the Twitterverse is moving on. I can track back my list of followed tweeters, but only so far before I have to move on with the rest of my daily activities. If a blip of news is contained in that period of time I have consumed it, but if not I have lost it completely.

    If you have time to live by the Twitter feed constantly it does have the freshness factor, but do most people really need to be news junkies to be first to know?

    Compare this with Google Reader, where if I am away from the PC/Phone the articles pile up for me to be consumed at my own pace. GR also allows me to better organize content so that maybe I feel like reading about Technology/Local News, or Video games in that period. I can follow over 1000 different RSS feeds and choose when I consume or ignore their content depending on my interest at the time. If I don't want to read about Directory Services and would rather focus on Cell phone news I can do that.

    With Twitter, I am really only exposed to what was posted within the last 200 or so tweets to catch my eye no matter what the topic.

    My normal consumption is to look at Twitter on my phone for a few tweets or glance at trending topics and then switch to Google Reader if nothing of interest happened in that moment.

    Twitter still has the problem of bubbling up the quality information for me to be consumed in a stream of noise.

    Complimentary technologies, serving different needs with some overlap. “Real Time” is only good if you are consuming “real time”. Of the internet population, what is the percentage that can afford to do that?

    Jef

  28. have just started…earlier i loved visiting websites because i would forget their names/usernames-password combinations even, if i didn't do it regularly…RSS is a lot easier and Google reader is great tool and my favorite:)

  29. Robert A, I must agree w/ the time issue. I too am a news junkie but am yet to figure out how to filter the noise level on Twitter. Feedly continues to be my favorite way to glean the news. Perhaps I need to look more closely at FriendFeed if the Scobleizer has moved on from my tried and true news reader…

  30. Robert,
    You are spot on “I don’t need more feeds. I don’t need better readers…I need better filters”. RSS is just a utility, like http. And I agree that- you, LG and a few others are not the norm in terms of what the market needs.
    The trend I'm seeing is for more comprehensive aggregators that do a deep job at getting and presenting filtered content around macro or micro topics, so as to insulate the user from RSS management, which is nightmare. RSS management should be left to professional services/systems and combined by sophisticated people-based and text-based filters. Whereas some users will be content with news discovery via Twitter, others will want to sit back and read content that's already been aggregated, curated, organized and presented for them. And what if it came 20, 30 or 60 mins later than Twitter- that's not a big deal for the majority of users. Fact is most users will miss the first blip of a story, and might catch it at the 67th re-tweet, 67 minutes later.
    Here are some examples of curated aggregators for some topics- and if you discount the 1 hr delay in most recent articles- it's a pretty comprehensive coverage of these topics (and includes some Twitter posts when applicable)
    http://portal.eqentia.com/cloudcomputing
    http://portal.eqentia.com/twitter
    http://portal.eqentia.com/socialmedia
    http://portal.eqentia.com/newsfuture

  31. There are still a lot of people out there who haven't even caught on to rss-feeds.Really! It makes me think that rss-feeds aren't even mainstream yet. I use my Netvibes page to glance through feeds quickly. I find that a huge improvement compared to newsletters and newsfeeds in my mailbox. I have a separate tab for every subject I am interested in. It works well for me.

    That having been said, I have to admit that I don't look at my Netvibes page as often as I used to. Twitter has partially replaced it. However, I find Twitter and other social networks a little time-consuming right now, so I am looking at ways to use these tools more effectively.

  32. I am a huge fan of pageflakes, netvibes and other web aggregators since they can be accessed from any computer. I also follow rss feeds of 'news worthy' tweeters on netvibes. I follow one guy who posts links about whiskey and another who posts about fishing. They both spend a lot of time searching for material. Of course, I didn't find them, they found me because I tweeted about fishing and whiskey. Finding these treasure troves of information is the tough part.

  33. I would be absolutely furious if RSS died tomorrow. Mobile networks (and phones) are nowhere near fast enough to load most blogs and news sites quickly, especially ones without small-screen optimized designs. An RSS reader app, however, makes reading the news on the go so much less of a pain.

    Except for sites which only put an excerpt in their RSS feed, which completely defeat the purpose and infuriate me endlessly.

    I'm an angry person, I know.

  34. Is RSS interesting or boring? Neither. it's a tool that delivers me news, information, stories, appointments, gossip and fun. It keeps things, I don't miss anything and I can catch up when i want. The real time stuff lets me know what's going on now, but it's a flotsam on a river, once it's gone, it's gone and there's no point in chasing it downstream. Choose the right tools for the right time and the right circumstances.

  35. I happily use super human filters like Robert and yourself Louis. Both of you find interesting topics and often add comments, explanations or complete blog posts to go along with my content meal. I fall back on my Google Reader when I'm not satisfied with what my super human filter list has to offer. It's rare, but then I can dig into great posts from folks I love to read that I may have missed.

    I think Lazyfeed is a tool with great potential, and am eager to build something similar myself. But I think the power of a topic based real time search tool, is in connecting people by topical conversations happening NOW. Friendfeed is/was great for doing that when Robert interviews new startups or when you give us a great play by play at a live conference or meeting.

    But there are scores of interesting real time conversations happening right now in areas I'm interested in, that I'm missing out on. I wanna join in some of those, and meet new trend setters and learn about what they're thinking.

  36. I think it sucks that our follow lists in various tools aren't self pruning. We should be able to have previous selected follows diminish or drop down in visibility over time if we don't visit them every so often (just leave us a choice to have certain favorites never degrade).

  37. Interesting stuff William, I'll mail myself the links for later review. I agree that most users don't need the information as it's happening, but it'd be nice to find topical conversations happening in real time.

    I'd like to build a business that specializes in real time filters of internet content, finding personalized matching and relevant information and categorizing it according to user needs (and even quality scoring the information). I want to wake up in the morning and by category and importance sift through all the info of “what's happening” on a high level, then drill down into the specifics of my favorite technical topics. I wrote a little bit about a proposed “Google earth like” UI for my favorite web content, using individual sharers as “locations”. I want smart filters that know the types of topics I'm interested in, and who my influencers are.

  38. I'm missing something with the “RSS *versus* Twitter/FriendFeed” debate. One could argue that news on Twitter/FF is *dependent* on RSS (at least in part):

    Robert, when you find out about a news story via Twitter/FF, isn't it a safe assumption that a fair amount of people posting those links found out about the news story from their RSS feeds?(or some other product that uses RSS)

    If so, aren't you still using RSS for news, only you're letting others on Twitter/FF do the filtering?

    RSS is interesting to me, not because I think it's a good end user “product”(it's not), but because it is the foundation for which to wrap great products around. RSS is fuel.

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  40. Your reply brings up another thought. What is news? Technically, news is whatever is new (I suppose). “Michael Jackson died” is the news. The headline says it all. There may be more facts, opinion and discussion around it but for simple news, the headline says it. That headline can spread by RSS, email, Twitter, a text message, word of mouth and many more with ease.

    Along the lines of what you said, different tools are used for and facilitate different purposes. RSS facilitates easily checking what is new on a site, with a link back to more info (basically). Twitter facilitates a more word of mouth style active human pushing of news and links. Other services may facilitate discussion better (Disqus?). And of course blogging facilitates a more formal publishing of information.

  41. I believe news filtering is essential, but I use several services in tandem to accomplish it; such as socialmedian, friendfeed and twitter. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet I know of yet. Therefore I try to cover my bases and hope for the best, but occasionally a quality post like this one gets through. It’s times like this that have me wondering what is so awful about being twelve hours late (practically an eternity by real-time standards). The answer is simple, there’s nothing wrong with it at all, and in fact there are usually benefits. In the last twelve hours, enough time has passed to allow the same people who filter my news to leave comments instead. This is my reward for being late and one I find more valuable than reading the post by itself. I’ve found that if the post is worth reading, usually the comments are too. This one was no exception. BTW; I found this through one of the best filters around, Rob Diana. He did a follow-up post on this: http://bit.ly/5D3Hh

  42. I want to use RSS more to aggregate several sources to one site. I'm not quite with it yet but the idea has merit. I wonder if I could pull in other feeds instead? (as you have suggested) Frank from Panic Away and The Linden Method

  43. I agree, RSS was? a powerful search tool, but I am with you that the whole blog RSS is the best era is well over. I am more interested in what will become popular as people see diminishing returns on Twitter and the like. I am really trying to find info on that lately.

  44. You're right Robert, RSS and the real-time web are close but separate species. As you, most of the stories I see come from Twitter and FriendFeed, Google Reader being a second tier tool for less viral news or more obscure blogs that I still care about.

    my6sense on the iPhone, Lazyfeed, parse.ly & feedly on my browser and FeedaFever on my server are tools that help me sort my RSS clutter.

    In the end, juggling with both RSS -via all these tools- and Twitter is a source of frustration for one reason: I hate duplicates.

    I would love to have a tool that would parse shortened and permalink URLs and mark them as read directly in my Google Reader. That would really help us all.

  45. I have to agree that RSS, Digg and others are just getting in the way of news. Tweetdeck and Twitter and you have a launch point, the rest is down to how many times you can break out of the time/space continuum to follow links. If the cream rises to the top, let's remember that single cream is only about 10% by volume of milk. Less, better presented, is more.

    What is interesting is what this means for tech communicators. If I may, I invite comments to my take here http://tinyurl.com/m2s56c and you can get me pmaher@positivemarketing.org for a rant or @pmaher for seriously brief chat

  46. You nailed it with the filtering Robert but the Twitter vs. RSS argument feels moot. Twitter is realtime and RSS is the standard; neither is going anywhere any time soon. They have different cultures of use and different strengths and weakness. Essentially everyone is right and nobody is wrong. What makes them similar or different is beside the point it’s all data and only some of it is important or interesting.

    I agree with Louis about Lazyfeed the search tool and especially live tracking is a hot feature but filtering by category only gets us a tenth of the way toward the kind of real time hyper personalized filtering we really want and need. Add to that the fact that searching and tracking tools first require the kernel of knowledge that Scoble is looking for to begin with make it a nonstarter. When it comes to relevance filtering My6sense (Scoble’s interview http://bit.ly/xr7y1 ) has the advantage with its personalized feed ranking. They track your usage and analyze the content to build a custom preference model that is then used to rank your feeds. RSS or twitter. It’s the best of both world and filtered by your personal interests not a community’s. Add to this a scalable system in which they can grow their vector models and you’ve got something pretty powerful and chalk full of potential.

    For instance Google reader can’t take your present location into consideration when filtering or semantically indexing the page that the twitter post links to judge relevance. These are killer features that I am told are in the queue. In the end this is what we need, smart feeds and the My6sense app is just the beginning. As machine learning software comes into maturity these conversations will fade away and that’s exciting.

  47. I have to agree. This discussion really doesn't involve all netizens anyway. We don't all aspire to break news before everyone else.

    I personally prefer to use Twitter and Friendfeed when I'm trying to follow an event that I was not able to attend, and stick to Feedly/Google Reader and my feeds for my daily dose of news and commentary.

  48. You might bwe right for the news business. But my customers – usually business bloggers who own the business (or are the business) are not in the news but in the conversation space. They want to talk to a few select bloggers in their fields and want to monitor the blogosphere for people to talk to and to exchange link love.
    Twitter lets you share status and links, but it does not et you show expertise and it only allows for limited converstaion.
    In FB and FF your utterances are to widespread to be read as 'your thing'. so those are good vor conversation, but not for reputation or for buildung audiences.

    If follow U on Twitter, but U are just ONE voice in 2000+ I follow. The few dozen Blogs I follow have a far greater 'converstaion value'.
    And yes; I also gave up RSS foor Twitter for some weeks, but Twitter, FF and FB hardly replace Blogging and RSS.

  49. You don't need to start clean. Just create some tags for the stuff U wanna read in GR. And Then I usually use the 'read next post in taggrouop…' bookmarklet to zap through them. This Way I see the osts in the blog, have the comemnts etc. And I I wanna remember I bookmaerk at delicious which will blog a digest to my blog the next morning at 1030. Perfect social media chain ;)

  50. I think it's something like this. You know that old adage, “Time is so that everything doesn't happen at once, space is so that everything doesn't happen at once *to you*”. So, Twitter is space, RSS is time…or something. It's ok. I don't want everything to be in 140 character chunks, sometimes I want to scan a 250 or 1,000 word news story even. That I would get out of my Google news reader. But, to be honest, I don't go to the Google reader with the RSS feeds anymore because it's overflowing and I'm scared of it.

    However, I put a few RSS feeds on my front page on Google. These are people like @ajkeen who blocks me on Twitter so I can't see his feed. But by searching for his name and then sticking an RSS feed on to the search results, I get a regular update not only from @ajkeen in my Google reader but people retweeting him, so it's mildly useful.

  51. These are killer features that I am told are in the queue. In the end this is what we need, smart feeds and the My6sense app is just the beginning. As machine(
    cheap jordan shoes) learning software comes into maturity these conversations will fade away and that’s exciting.

  52. I think Webhooks and realtime commenting are going to bring back the blog. If you add some immediacy, and rapid conversation, to the medium blogs beat Twitter hands down.

    They have native support for photos, video, hyperlinks with descriptive URLs, full-length documents, geolocation, and a whole raft of other completely useful stuff that Twitter only supports crudely. Twitter is instant, brief, and woefully underpowered. Plus, it is centralized which makes it inherently prone to failure.

    If you make blogs real-time and far more social they are going to kick Twitter's ass. People will learn to write punchier headlines and shorter articles, because that is what readers want, and then Twitter won't have anything else to offer.

  53. In my opinion this discussion all comes down to a persons reasons for using the tool and how comfortable they are with the various tools.

    Twitter may be to noisy for one person and great for another. Even if Twitter breaks news faster if getting the news 1st isn't my personal goal and google reader is easier for me to understad/use i'm going to stick with it. If Twitter is super easy for me to use and understand then i'm going to use it and find the right people to follow in order to see the news i want.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  54. I just discovered a new service that recently launched under the rader, called Snippee.com.

    It lets you read, filter, share and discuss all the news you receive from all the social services you use. It automatically tags each snippet of news that enters your feed and groups related snippets by person, place, company and topic.

    Seems similar to Friendfeed, but the filtering and auto-tagging functionality makes it pretty powerful.

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