This is a recreation of a popular blog post I had at a former version of wilcosky.com. I re-created my website and since the previous version didn’t have a lot of posts and most weren’t popular, I didn’t bother saving the posts. However, since this one post blew up I will do my best to re-share my controversial thoughts on RSS.
If anyone has the full original text from this post let me know. All I can find is an excerpt someone else published. For now I’ll paste the excerpt below and then provide a few new thoughts.
RSS is still around but I’m saying I miss it because it’s not everywhere like it once was. It used to be in every web browser, and all major websites, such as Twitter, provided feeds. Then you would install a feed reader on your computer or join a website that let you subscribe to RSS feeds. So, you could go to a Twitter profile click a button in your browser and subscribe. Any new post would show up in your feed reader. That alone is nothing special but with RSS you also can subscribe to any news site or blog that provides a feed. This means you have a one stop shop. You have one place that alerts you anytime your favorite websites update.
Most of the feedback I got on this post was positive. I think the majority of people understood the point I was trying to make. If I remember correctly I might have written parts making the state of RSS seem like it was almost completely gone. Which it’s not.
I tried to make clear that what I meant was RSS is not in your face currently like it once was. I bolded the first statement in the above original excerpt because that is largely why I wrote the post. RSS is not always integrated in browsers by default and brand new Internet users will not know that a lot of blogs still have feeds (without discussions like this one). Plus, some social media giants don’t have feeds.
The effort to smother RSS also means it’s sometimes harder, compared to the past, to find up to date related tools and code.
I also originally wrote this post because I have a couple other websites without feeds. Why would someone who likes RSS have websites without feeds? Because the frameworks they were built with don’t include RSS. I like the frameworks or design, so I wanted to use them. But, it made me a little sad that they don’t have RSS. I think it’s because RSS has been removed from a lot of browsers and social media giants, therefore, developers don’t always add it to their code.
The post title is honestly clickbait. It makes it sound like I think RSS is gone. It’s not. But without posts like these, or if blogging platforms like WordPress ever removed feeds, RSS could fade away. Which would be a shame because it’s an easy way to keep websites and people connected.