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by Brian Schrader

RSS Has Already Won

Posted on Fri, 06 Jul 2018 at 11:39 PM

It's been a little over 5 years since Google Reader shut down and the world of RSS readers was tossed into the junk drawer of collective memory. But, looking back on it today, I'd actually argue that RSS and Feeds as a whole never really disappeared, only the Feed Readers did.

In building Pine, and as a long time Feed Reader user, I've been pleasantly surprised over these last 5 years to see that most sites still have RSS feeds. Sure, Facebook and Twitter don't support them, but YouTube, Reddit, Squarespace, Wordpress and so many more do by default.

Feeds of all kinds still exist, nearly forgotten, in the markup of most websites, and this means that Feed Readers can, and will, make a comeback someday. The foundations are already laid; the hard work is done. RSS Feeds became a standard, and were built into the tools we use to make the web today. It's almost as if we laid the tracks and built the trains for a trans-continental railroad, but we've just forgotten how to sell tickets.

What we're waiting for now is a resurgence and a new interpretation of what a Feed Reader can or should be. Sites like Micro.blog focus heavily on building a social network of readers and microbloggers, while Pine focuses on discovering new and exciting people and sites to follow and new ways to interact with them, and RiverNews is a more traditional reader.

Others have said this, but I think it's more true by the day: the Feed Readers, they're coming back.

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