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I'm going to use the longer posting capabilities to express my irritation about people removing RSS as a way to subscribe to websites.

Basically I've noticed a huge trend not only in websites moving away from RSS to Twitter and FB, but REMOVING IT COMPLETELY! Personally, I feel like this is NOT a good move for people who provide content to stay in touch with consumers. Why?

-Twitter has no good way to filter information sources and brands from friends. Lists are really not useable, I don't think a lot of people use them, and the UI has them buried so it's a pain in the ass to get to them. People are HIGHLY selective about who they follow, and they're not gonna throw a dozen small blogs in with their best friends' updates or the experience of using the service become greatly diminished.

-Facebook is a mess for trying to sort "likes" and pages, I don't see how having a MASSIVE unwieldy feed of constant centralized updates helps ANYONE disseminate information. I would say you could check 5-6 Facebook pages a day MAX for blogs you like who have pages there. That's a far cry from the 200+ blogs I check every day in about an hour.

RSS is a way to consume a LOT of information very quickly, and STORE it in nice categories if you miss it. So I can catch up with a small blog's output at the end of the week and, if I so choose, read EVERY article easily in one sitting. You think on Friday I'm gonna go browse that same site's Twitter feed on their page (digging through all the messy @ replies) and see what they did that week?! Or go to their Facebook page that is littered with contests? No way dude, I'm too busy for that!

I feel like small blogs cut their own throat by taking away the RSS capability. I give this analogy a lot, but social media outlets are INFO COLANDERS! 5% of your followers will see anything you post, and that's probably only within 20 minutes of posting. That's the way it is and it's gonna only get worse. Apart from email lists, RSS is the best way you can collect stuff across the internet to read quickly, and I am so irritated when that choice is taken from me.
Jeffrey Chadwell's profile photoJake Wulf's profile photomad rock's profile photoLaura Gibbs's profile photo
RSS - for when you don't want to be dependent on someone else's fail whale.
I agree. I'm hoping that Google integrating Reader into Google+ will bring RSS back.
+Felicia Day glad to have your support for RSS. At Google, we're huge fans of making information discoverable, sharable and useful.
I share your frustration. I use RSS a lot
Totally agree with everything, just because some people dont want to use RSS services such as Google Reader, doesn't mean we all do.
Agreed. Then again, I never had Tweeter (:P) and I deleted my Facebook a while ago because they were so unwieldy.
I use RSS for everything. If a site removes it, they just lost me.
I would die without my RSS feeds.
I live on RSS ... much cleaner to follow and easy to categorized (I.e. if you use Google Reader) .
Google Reader, it changed my life. RSS 4ever (least until they give me some form of cranial implant with a permanent connection to the future version of the internet anyways).
I use RSS feeds on my blog all the time taking it off is a good way to kill your site..
Kevin F
Right there on the same page.... I hate when sites force you to use facebook and twitter when I do not use either. RSS feeds is perfect for those kind of updates.
Agreed. More options are good, fewer is not good. My RSS reader is still my favorite way to keep up with blogs.
I agree completely. I don't read a whole lot of blogs, but I'm really into webcomics, and I'm way more likely to add a new one into my rotation if they've got an RSS I can subscribe to.
I am with you 100% on this one +Felicia Day
I have also noticed this and seen a rise in people pushing email updates instead.
It's like we went back to 1999.
The trouble is that RSS is hard to explain to people who don't already know what RSS is.

With Twitter and Facebook, they've heard those words before and they know (or think they know) what they mean. RSS is "Well you can receive information from a website without actually having to visit that website. Plus you have to learn how to use Google Reader or some sort of client software. Wait, come back!"

I agree with you, but RSS has a PR problem.
I don't even know how I'd function without RSS. It's how I connect to information, and how I quickly connect my own blog to Twitter/Facebook/Google+/etc. I don't get why any site would remove RSS functionality, rather than figure out a way to have RSS enhance their overall information sharing strategy.
Agreed. If I can't access the articles from Google Reader, I'm much less likely to come back and read future articles...
No RSS == I'm not reading from your blog.
Great rant. RSS is essential for those sites I don't want to miss. So much stuff just streams past in social media without catching my eyes
yeah, I'm with you completely. I'd be lost without Google reader. Before that I was using Trillian to keep track of website RSS feeds, and Reader is so much better. A website without an RSS feed will be one I only check occasionally, to be frank.
Kevin F
+Mark Litzinger Sign up to use google reader, import RSS feeds and you will see why RSS is so awesome
If you don't have an RSS, you don't make my reader. If you don't make my reader you don't get read.
Wow. I've never been that big into following anyone's blogs, and never really groked the usefulness of RSS feeds, that that makes perfect sense in your usage model! I'd be pissed about losing that capability, too!
I can't help but think there's a better way to present this to people. RSS Feed does not mean much to a lot of people. Google Reader is a step in the right direction, but there's more that can be done to present it in a more understandable and palatable way for the average person.
Absolutely, and that goes double for podcasts that only offer iTunes as a subscription option and not RSS.
I only read via RSS and follows on Google+, which I consider quite similar.
Yes, thank you for the post, many people just don't know how to use it, but its perfect for keeping up with a lot of content sources.
WordPress made it complicated to post an RSS link; I had to add one manually. (Don't know if it's easier now.) But before I started my blog, I knew I needed that, and it's the first thing in my sidebar.

Do people really remove the RSS or just the easy link to it? I've subscribed to blogs with no RSS links anywhere, and they still work.
Completely agree, but I've face the same battles about this in corporate circles. Getting users to adopt RSS is difficult for some reason (a reason that completely escapes me.)
Agreed +Felicia Day. I get most of my news from RSS feeds on Google Reader. When I developed my own site I added like and tweet buttons, sure, but I also made sure to add an RSS button as well.
RSS is the primary way I consume news. It's far less time consuming; much easier to keep tabs on the pulse of incoming content.
Ryan L
The J key alone with google reader has made it to where I can keep up with the news I like. If rss and reader goes away I'm not going to spend more time looking for cool stuff on the internet. I'll just stop visiting those sites.
I don't know what I would do without my Google Reader & RSS, that is how I keep up with the world during my busy day.
Word. My RSS feed reader is where all the stuff I read goes. I love Twitter, too and will try to stay up to date on facebook, but it's much more likely that I don't check there regularly.
I even like following brands with Twitter, but oftentimes I'll miss valuable posts if I only rely on their service. RSS means I can catch everything.
Agree. Just like I wish G+ had multiple customizable Streams rather than just everything or each circle individually. I would like to be able to put friends, family, and close aquantainences in one stream. People that I'm following but don't know personally in another. And peope who post nothing but cute cat gifs and political articles in another. But still have them in seperate circles because that's how I handle who can see what I POST not how I want to read THEIR posts.
This gets especially idiotic, once you realize that facebook and twitter both are simply RSS-based Apps.
Dawn B
Well said Felicia. I purposely put an RSS feed on my blog because a lot of my followers asked for it and it is still highly used and efficient.
I read so much and RSS is so useful for that!
I've also noticed some RSS feeds are removing article summaries or full text and just have a link to the article. "Visit http://xyz for the full article." Useless!
Plus, most RSS readers (including Google Reader) have excellent search capabilities ("What was that I read last week?..."). Facebook has horrible search and Twitter's is too broad. I'd rather see websites sticking with RSS as well and for Google Reader and Google+ to merge a bit, which I've heard they're working on.
I just can't believe that I just discovered RSS recently. It's really handy that Mac's email client does RSS as well. Then I see it when I go to check my email.
A website w/ no RSS is a lazy website and not worth my time any more.
Since I only read RSS and/or + or Buzz, those sites without it are gone from my intertubes.
I agree. I find Google Reader is a fantastic tool and despite its integration with Google+, it should continue to have great features. Fingers firmly crossed
general complexity of implementation... (lazy)
Totally agree. The only way to ensure people will see your post through Twitter is to constantly tweet the link over and over, which is annoying. And facebook... YUK. Email lists? Are there people out there who don't already have way too much (not quite spam) junk coming into their inboxes?
I personally subscribe to about 100 RSS feeds and 0 facebook pages. I only catch blog updates on twitter from people I already follow and miss quite a few anyway, because it's not really worth going back through hours and hours of twitter updates to find the few gems. If companies and people move away from RSS, they are moving away from providing a resource that I will use.

Facebook's repeated security / privacy issues are a concern for me, and probably for quite a few other "mildly paranoid" techie types. I have on more than one occasion seriously considered deleting my facebook account, and were it not for the few friends who are only reachable via facebook, I would have long ago.

Neither twitter or facebook have interfaces sufficient for consuming large amounts of information. I hope this trend away from RSS stops, otherwise they will lose a lot of eyes.
Agreed. Google Reader is my left-most tab that's always open if my browser is open. It's how I consume the vast majority of the web and discover when my favorite websites have new content. It allows me to consume that content as my leisure. If something is posted on Twitter or Facebook it's likely long buried by the time I'm ready to check it out.
I was pissed when Twitter removed RSS feed links, there are some feeds I would prefer to subscribe to especially since I only visit Twitter once a month. :-(
I use RSS to follow a ton of different site. On top of that there are some sites that are blocked at work that I can't reach, and because I use Google Reader I can still read the posts. Long Live RSS
I only came to Google Reader fairly recently, but it's been one of the most useful tools I've found for keeping up with pages/blogs/articles without having to open a ton of tabs on my browser. RSS is a brilliant function, especially for people who don't want to go wading through Twitter or Facebook to find updates on what they're interested in. Agreed + 1,000,000,000
Sing it sister! My friends and I stay in touch over Google Reader almost exclusively and are truly worried/upset about the possibility that Google is going to basically nerf it into a straight RSS reader and try to force us to use G+ in a way that doesn't seem to make sense. I do love RSS too since I don't have to sift through a million different websites to get info I want, I just go to my reader and all of the news I need is right there.
I wish you could get your google+ stream as a RSS feed. RSS ROCKS!
Totally agree. RSS is still a valuable tool. Google Reader organizes all my feeds in one location and in turn allows me to expand those articles/columns/blogs/pages and share them faster and with more people by having it in RSS first.
Ryan L
+Jonathan Baker-Bates The gawker sites removed their full article feeds and made them just titles with summaries.
There are 1/2 a dozen RSS reader just for Ubuntu Linux. - It's the best way to read a lot of information in an easy sort-able format
I started adding some TV show pages and other places to Facebook because I wanted to be notified when new episodes were coming out or big announcements like a cast memeber leaving or getting pregenant. Instead I was delgued by contant clips of upcoming or previous episodes, interviews with cast members, notifications that they were going to be on this or that talk show, and worst of all huge spoilers if I had recorded the show instead of watching it live. Most of them were quickly muted from my feed because they would post 20 or 30 stupid things a day and I just got sick of it. Now I don't get anything from them, which is too bad but the only realistic option.
I agree with you, but what I have been noticing is a trend to move all their feed needs through feed burner. Some of the technical sites that I follow have done that. I am an avid RSS user and it is an effective way to skim over articles before digging into those that capture my interest.

My 2 cents...
RSS has been my only method for getting news for aged now. I'd be lost without it. 
Generally RSS feeds are "there" but bloggers/media don't even make use of them. For my own website, I keep everyone that has gaming news on my RSS reader because, heck, it's all right there and it's not a game of telephone. No real middleman, perfect way to share information.

Though I still have yet to figure out a clean way to offer up our RSS feeds without making it look like a mess... Maybe I'll do that tonight!
Agree 100%.
I even saved your quote about RSS from the guild.
I have no interest in twitter.
RSS isn't new, nor exciting - unlike Twitter or Facebook. RSS doesn't get in your face - unlike Twitter or Facebook. RSS just works.
If a site doesn't have RSS, I tend not to follow it at all. Mostly because I forget about it.
Greg S
Thanks for making it clear how important this is. I started a web comic style picture book series a few weeks ago and am only starting to grow a readership. While I didn't take away the rss features, I honestly have no clue how they work, and now I know I need to make them more accessible. Thanks again Felicia!
RSS= life blood of blogs, if you don't have an RSS feed I won't read you and a lot of others won't either. I don't want to have to load up your site everytime I want to check and see if you have a new post. 95% of the blogs I read I don't read on their actual sites.
I'm with you. I love RSS. My Google Reader is one of my first stops every day.
Thankfully all my webcomic folks use RSS or I'd never read them... well I'd go back to how I used to anyway. Loves me mah RSS.
bitch, bitch, bitch - you damn Elves are so touchy!! :-)
+Felicia Day I completely agree with you, I have a feeling that because a few people(experts) have been saying RSS is dead, too may people a wrongfully listening.
What?!! I thought RSS was a basic service. If you update your page, it tells the subscribers. What does it have to do with Facebook or Twitter? Why would anyone go out of his/her way just to remove RSS? I mean I can't make a webpage that has no RSS, because every decent engine has built in.
I've never really bothered with using RSS to get things, mostly because there aren't that many I follow on a regular basis, but I think it took me about 30 seconds to turn it on when I installed WordPress. There was perhaps an additional 30 seconds involved in turning it into a FeedBurner feed. I figured that even though I don't bother with it, there might be someone who wanted it.
I have to agree with you on the importance of RSS which is why when I build a site I incorporate it but it is definitely the kind of Web tech that feel a bit to the wayside over the years. I think with high speed net so abundant since dialup kinda went away and unlimited data plans on cell phones it became one of those things that didn't have a huge use for a while and so became a secondary thing for most Web designers and developers. Being most carriers moved away from unlimited cell data lately it wool probably become popular again but it sort of needs to be "rediscovered" by a lot of folks. I think the other issue too is building a Web site these days is made easy for anyone with wizards and build tools that most people with a site don't have the technical background to make an RSS feed and so if the wizard doesn't do it for then it gets left out :(
yes, 100% -- very well said. if you don't have RSS on your blog, i won't read you. period.
I agree. However, despite having a feed prominently displayed on my blog, most poeple choose not to use it
I couldn't agree more. I only monitor about 40 sites but that's over 500 posts each day! I star (GReader) the ones I want to read over in more detail (or that include videos I'd prefer not to watch on my phone) and cull through the rest, usually on my Android phone while waiting in line or eating. Sites that limit RSS feeds to only show a portion of the post or just a title (AICN!) are a little annoying, as most tools that supposedly show the entire post don't work for all sites.

What happens is that I end up not reading posts from sites that don't share a full feed. I know I miss out on content, but eventually I end of deleting those because it takes too long to endure their long string of right-side column ads and flash.
+Patrick McLeod - Who are these so-called experts? I want to vociferously disagree with them by hitting their blogs via Google Reader.
I use rss feeds a LOT. They make getting information really easy. I use google reader exactly got the reasons you list. Ready categorization that allows me to focus on the things I'm interested in at the moment.
Now that's a rant. I'll never give up on RSS on my site, one day I set it up ;) Seriously, RSS is a great thing and so, are those that are giving up on it even worth your/our attention?
I saw this. 15 more minutes and I would have totally missed it! ha ha. #TrueStory
I love my rss feeds, have tons of them in my rss reader. The as someone who uses a pc reader app rather than goggles reader its disappointing that most / all rss reader apps are no longer developed :-( 
I can't believe anyone reads blogs without an RSS reader. I only discovered RSS feeds a couple of years ago... I can't believe people think it's a good idea to kill them already
I only follow blogs that use RSS for that reason. Make your content easy for me to access the way I want it...
Even though I've been on the intertubes since '94, I didn't find out how useful Google Reader was until about a year ago.

I don't know how I kept up to date without it.
Totally agree that RSS is undervalued and underused. It is the single best, simplest and fastest way to get your content out there and circulated.

Sure readers can post to their favorite social network after reading something from an RSS feed and that is fine, in fact that is great, but RSS cannot be removed altogether and let die.

I think those that do go down this path of removing RSS are signing their own website death certificate.
I don't know if anyone else has said this before me, but you can ALWAYS subscribe to a website via RSS, even if they don't have that orange button on the site. I use Google Reader, and if you go to the main Reader page in your account, you can add a subscription just by typing in the URL of the website whose updates you want to have pulled into your reader. I've never not been able to subscribe to a site this way.
just about when I decided to look into and use rss more because I'm afraid to miss stuff :-(
Wish I could find a (good) way to read my Twitter stream via Google Reader or something similar.
Amen! I am totally with you, but it doesn't help that articles like this - - argue the opposite and help shift the tide away from RSS. I think the title 'really simple syndication' is opposite to the reality. RSS is fiddly and complex if you're not technically minded. I've been building an RSS reader and every other feed seems to throw an exception to the 'rules', sorry 'options' :(
I have great hopes for the gReader update to improve the RSS situation by bridging the divide between RSS and social networks (well this social network at least).
As someone that has started blogging and am working on building a readerbase, I really appreicate this message. I will be sure to incorporate RSS into my presentation. Thanks.
*Slow clap and standing ovation* Thank you for this. I've been using RSS for years to keep up with all my favorites sites. And my usage has only increased, not decreased, so when I see sites without it I get frustrated (or, when places like, ahem, Google remove the top tier link to Reader from their own menu bar).

I don't get the point of taking the time to remove it when it's actually easier to just let the feed run. WordPress, etc. always seem to just have it "on" by default and setting up a Feedburner version takes less time then tweeting all the time.
i've not noticed this trend but you are right, if RSS goes away it would make keeping up to date with everything a night mare - I've already unsubscribed from a bunch of news sites on FB because all they do is post noise about the US election candidates (isn't that like, a year away?) but I've keep those sites in my google reader so i can go back to them later on and read their stories via their RSS feeds
Agreed. If I can't in Google Reader, it's probably not something I'm going to read that often.
I completely agree with this, and for the most part when I see a blog I may like that doesn't have RSS it basically gets put to the bottom of my "I might check it if I remember it exists" pile. WITH an RSS feed, any old blog that I see that might be slightly interesting gets me to subscribe to it for about a week or two at the minimum, and I often become a huge fan of even smaller blogs (I subscribe to one that's called "Women Running From Houses" that didn't update for a long time, but because it was in my RSS when it started back up again I knew instantly and was back to reading without a pause).
I don't know what I'd do without RSS. It's the only way I can keep track of all the blogs I read. With it, I can quickly scan through to see if there are new postings.
(I also had to double check to make sure my own blog had it enabled. It does.)
Anything webpage that has regular updates (webcomics/webseries/blogs) NEEDS an RSS feed. My google reader is my daily checklist of sites to check out.
Greg S
Is there anyone willing to (even if only temporarily) look at my site and make sure the rss is fine? I'm feeling self conscious now >.<
Thank you for the education on RSS feeds. I'd been ignoring them, but now I'm going to see if I can learn how to use them more effectively! I learned from your rant! :)
Agreed! RSS gives you options. Nobody says you have to read 100% of what you subscribe to. I've seen a lot more people shifting to email subscriptions, and I just don't get it. It's just one more thing filling up my inbox, and I'm far more likely to delete that than click through (unlike my RSS reader)
Thanks for posting your opinion about RSS. I am a web developer and have wondered if readers cared for the service or not. There is a lot of pressure just to syndicate to other social networks. I'll keep your thoughts as "evidence" that RSS is useful.
The movement away from easy to access rss subscription by the big browser probably is probably helping people move away from rss too, which I see as an equally large problem, why provide a service when its increasing difficult for you viewers to access it. totally agree with +Felicia Day's point though
I would never think of getting rid of my RSS feed. I'm like you, it's how I really keep up to date on blogs.
My two cents: people aren't really able to actually read lots of info, or gather sources. They'd rather have one timeline to scroll through and get «all the important stuff» (e.g. not much), and probably see RSS (or Atom) as something ancient and outdated.
I don't really use RSS as there isn't consistant news I care about.
What gets me is the fact that RSS is stupid simple. Especially if you are using a content management system (which almost all blogs use). The feed generating program gets created once, and then you are done. Never have to touch it again, it just updates itself. Whereas Facebook and Twitter require constant updated and tweaking, which is way more work. Just seems silly to me. It makes think of wanting to use a broom over a robotic vacuum cleaner...
I agree 100%. RSS is my main method of keeping up on all kinds of news and blog posts.
I've a big list of site's RSS links that I spread across two folders in my firefox bookmarks toolbar. In the mix are a few blogs, some comic sites and some game news sites. The thing I find so nice about it is that I often forget (or would forget), to check these sites if it wasn't for the RSS (especially those that update less frequently).
I can use the RSS to see if its something that will interest me of course... but really I just use it as a means of alerting me to new content. In that respect I don't think there's a better solution out there.
RSS, I love it. I still live in Google Reader most of the time and if a site doesn't have RSS, I almost can't consume their content.
I agree, before I started using RSS, my facebook was and I had to go through a butt ton of bookmarks to get my daily feed, and the RSS introduced me to many more I'm RSS for life (or until they come up with something better).
A lot of people use Facebook and Twitter who are tech idiots. Most average users don't know about RSS and don't use it. People are going to Facebook and Twitter because that's where their audience is. You need to start an 'Feed You Mind: RSS' campaign to educate people about it. When people start using it, content owners will support it better.
I totally agree with the post. My RSS reader is always open.
I couldn't agree more. I rely on RSS to keep up with all of my favorite sites. And if a site doesn't have it, I probably will forget that site exists at some point.
Dang Felicia that was intelligent, well thought out and reasoned, and best of all your arguments were supported with examples. I wish you were a news reporter (as opposed to a commentator) we'd all be better for it.
I don't know if someone already said this, but I've been able to add blogs (and even webcomics that are not in a blog format) without an rss button to google reader manually by using the "add a subscription" button. Now I just need a way to remember to check google reader every day...
Jonny S
I really dont think you realize what your talking about in full, although your opinion is respected. Im not trying to play devils advocate for the way webtrends are going, and sometimes webtrends turn for the worst (internet explorer is still a majorly used web browser, and any website coder can go on for hours about how much they hate it), but we've managed. Facebook and twitter are just different versions of an RSS feed, and although they are superpowers, they are still very unorganized, people forget that these technologies are still very infantile, and have a lot of growing to do. Now one could go off on how fast these technologies were force fed into our lives with out us having much of a choice, and now it looks more socially awkward (and dates you completely) to actually call someone, rather than tweet, poke them while driving and hope to not get into a car accident. Shifting peoples directive from an RSS feed to another source is just placating the commons of what is popular, but it has benefits to see which people are reading your RSS feeds. I know people are advocates for web anonymity, but I simply just believe its for those who want to whine behind a fake name. They can have 4chan, but the rest of the world needs to stand behind their convictions of what they follow and talk about. (And before any of you say "well you have a fake last name" its purely as a cross promotion for my personal work, get over it nerds). Case in point, hacker group "Anonymous" is now taking out child pornography rings. If those rings couldn't hide behind anonymity, the problems would also cease to exist (not going to mention the irony of names there). The internet is fluctuating towards full disclosure, and I am a supporter for that, and before this sounds like going off on a tangent, RSS feeds are still pretty anonymous to the authors about which people are following them to the none tech savvy authors. Anything with a dollar value attached to it, wants some type of ROI. Which in todays age, is not just monitary, but information to further target its audience. If the RSS technology had come after facebook/twitter, it would have ultimately been a needless technology. However, so long as awesome programs such as flipbook (check it out if your on an ipad) or google news still maintain strong, it will never go anywhere, it just may transform into something else. RSS was originally meant for more functionality in XML programming languages, and as HTML standards continuously change, so will the supporting technologies.

If you want to help advocate a better web experience, include some code in your website that forces people to upgrade to the newest release of any web browser before being able to view the content. The number of IE6 - IE7 (Thats 'Internet Explorer' for those who are non-acronym savvy) is astounding. And their lack of actually pressing the little WINDOWS UPDATE icon is the biggest fallback from preventing true webdesigners, the modern day artists from using web technologies to its fullest. This actually is case in part to websites like Twitter and Facebook which still cater to older browsers, and while being a superpower of websites, still allow the non-progressive technology advancements from being fully exploited and discovered by those who choose to be ingnorant about their web experiences.


If you read this full response, +1 if you agree. If you are reading this on anything older than IE9 (which the fact your on IE is sad enough) you immediately fail.
Hear Hear! I am one of the ten people that don't have a facebook account and my twitter feed is almost exclusively news. I use the RSS feeds of my favorite sites as gadgets on an iGoogle home page.
Why would you want to reduce the number of ways people can view your site? It just seems silly to not include RSS for how easy it is to implement.
I think they lose site hits with RSS. They want you to stagger over to their home page and then click through a ton of crap to get to the article. RSS probably cuts down on the number of ways they can sell advertising since it drops you on the exact page you want. No extra navigation. Maybe.
RSS is essential to get through my reading list. It's especially great for comic sites that don't necessarily post regularly. This way, I make sure not to miss a strip (xkcd)! If only someone with a good marketing/PR background could make RSS more accessible/friendly to the non-tech folks. And maybe a new definition for the acronym? Read Stuff Speedily?
I agree with you completely. The problem is that RSS is structurally untrackable (the few options, like requiring log in to access an RSS feed, or adding web-bug images to your RSS feed posts, are easily circumvented, tough to implement, and sometimes completely contrary to the purpose of RSS.)

In these days of audience statistics being king, that's a big mark against any service, no matter how much the audience likes it.
Fully agree Felicia. Between my laptop, iPhone, and iPad I think my RSS readers are the most-used software in my arsenal. 
I can't tell you how delighted I am to see an actual celebrity endorsement for RSS. (It's so surreal - like seeing CNN anchors arguing about Linux distros.) I find feeds are absolutely invaluable for keeping up with the overwhelming volume of today's Internet.

Not only do feed readers (I use Google Reader) tend to be much better at sorting and managing dozens of different sources, but feeds also have a huge advantage over social network tie-ins: they're federated, which means that every site actually hosts its own feed content, instead of all being dependent on a centralized, proprietary system like Twitter or Facebook. RSS is the black sheep of the Internet, and too few people have discovered it, but on a certain level, it's really worth fighting for!
My RSS Feed via Flipboard is the biggest way I consume my news. I'm not a big fan of this trend towards subscribing to Websites either!
RSS is the best way to keep up with websites period, end of story. Having a bazillion+ unread items at all times is a different problem altogether. RSS bankruptcy anyone? I'm not going to check every website individually and I'm definitely not using Twitter and Facebook to keep track of them. What are they crazy?
On the off chance that anything i have to say is unique (i admit to not reading all 165 comments made before mine) I do wish RSS feeds were far more common. I use RSS to sync blogs, syndicate articles and keep track of things of particular interest to me so that I can digest what I wish to when it is convenient for me to do so! I find Facebook and Google+ to be vastly superior to Twitter for this type of exchange and Google+ just feels more 'my own' if that makes any sense. I tend to think all things have their place... and if that holds true, then perhaps RSS is the thing that ties them all together?
+1 Felicia. I couldn't agree more if I tried. Well said.
As mentioned on Twitter.. people viewing pages by RSS doesn't increase pageview counts, nor does it increase ad revenues, something cynical people like me might think some website admins care more about than actually getting their content shared. It's a shallow view, but I'm sure plenty of website admins have it :/
RSS has more structure than twitter - how can anyone aggregate twitter properly without structure?
Felicia, you can write, act, talk up a good talk and now you get RSS?! I do not often follow actors but I think we are seeing a new breed here. Post reshared.
I am also a big fan of rss, I forget to revisit sites who doesn't have rss, it is a pain in the * to manually visit all small blogs to see if they have a update
I'd +1000 if I could. I particularly hate the FB "websites" since I cannot access them when I have my work VPN up. Its easier to just not bother. I don't want FB mediating and tracking what I see anyhow.
So, I take it that this article from Forbes about Google pulling the plug on Reader tomorrow is bunk? ... I was hoping that somebody would verify this.
they arent scrapping it i heard, they are pulling the "share with friends" parts for "share with circles"
It's also sad how the common person doesnt get RSS, anyone that has a google account also has access to one of the best RSS readers out there! sad... just sad really.
you lose me as a reader if you don't provide RSS, and if your feed is filtered (intro paragraph) i usually drop you after a short while - especially if there's not enough in the feed to decide if i'm interested in the article
I absolutely agree with this! I use G+, FB and Twitter, but the best reads always happen in Reader, that's where I spend most of my time catching up with new info.
Most important point: With RSS you don't need an account anywhere!

RSS is an open standard and is supported by many things in the most awesome ways. It is what powers Podcasts, Firefox has nice "Live Bookmarks" and you can do awesome things with Yahoo Pipes using RSS. Why on earth would anyone remove RSS? After all it is generated "for free" by about every blog software, Wiki and CRM out there.
I'm a committed NON-Facebooker, and an avid blog follower. I read Twitter but won't depend on it for information. I hope RSS sticks around a long time!
Even if sites aren't that interested in RSS anymore, it seems it would be more difficult to remove the existing functionality than to just let it keep running while pursuing other media as well. I agree - Facebook and Twitter have made it hard to find anything specific reliably these days, and if I bother subscribing to a blog, I don't want to miss it! So thanks for posting on G+. :)
As the author of a small blog, I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to drop the RSS feed. Sure, it complicates tracking your stats, but I have twice the RSS subscriptions that I have visits; as +Felicia Day said, I'd cut my own throat getting rid of that source of readers!
You neglected to mention that unlike Facebook/Twitter, RSS requires no account (unless you use something like Google Reader). It is also useful because unlike social networking sites, its sole purpose is to deliver you the information you are interested in. You can also see the feeds from anywhere you happen to be assuming your browser supports it (seriously Chrome?).
I had my own little rant about the disappearance of RSS a few months ago. It is one of the most usefull features, perhaps even more so than the bookmark itself, but a very small and shrinking number of people use it.
Agreed. My Google+ stream moves to quickly to keep up with material during the day. I like the ability to capture updates in a way I can scroll through later. Google Reader does that for me in a way Google+ does not. (Not that it can't, but as it's set up now, it just doesn't.)
Facebook really needs a search, even for the content YOU link in there...Irritating that you just can't find the one link your friend posted 2 weeks ago.
I understand the way you feel. It is really a sad and sometime I dont understand it anymore. People need to stay put.
I've never been able to find a readable guide on what exactly RSS is, or how to use it, so I would've figured good riddance. I guess it has its fanbase though, so I feel bad for those who could figure it out.
I'm not seeing RSS disappear. Very disturbing. What sites are removing it?
I feel that way completely. I live on Google Reader. It's easy and simple and right there and convenient. I'm nowhere near as busy as you are and I find that when a blog/site doesn't have an RSS feed, I just write it off. I don't have the time to visit each site any more.

It's hard out here for a pimp, I guess.
I completely agree, Felicia. As part of my job, I read a lot blogs/websites via RSS & Google Reader -- something like 16,000 messages a month. Without RSS, that would be impossible.
RSS: the TV Guide of the internet.
I love Google Reader. I use it daily to keep up on dozens of tech info sites. The convenience of having the information in once place cannot be quantified.
+Nathan Wood It's a way of receiving updates, like blog posts, or any regularly updated content, without visiting the site. You can "subscribe" to sites using a client like Google Reader (which you already have, since you have a Google account) and Google Reader goes out and checks for new content on all your subscribed sites every few minutes and delivers it to your Reader account.

Then you just visit Google Reader and you can see if any of the sites you read have anything new on them.

Some examples of sites I subscribe to are the GMail blog (for new features and news), Joystiq (video game news), NotAlwaysRight (funny retail stories), and ThinkGeek's New Products feed (see what cool new stuff ThinkGeek is selling).
With luck, big sites dumping their RSS will make room for little sites like mine to get more readers. :D Like many who have commented, I can't imagine why you'd limit the ways in which your readers can enjoy your content.
I hate that feeling you get when you have just found a new site you really like, are totally into it, and then realize there is no rss. It's like losing a loved one before you even met them.
Also, RSS is the only kind of news I can scroll on my keyboard ^^
I so agree. I can't stand facebook for stuff like that, it doesn't allow me to organize it how I want. RSS is awesome for what it does, and it is NOT dead yet.
This rant is what I always have to argue with clients about. I feel like I should have you record this rant and I just play the recording every time I have to explain the importance of RSS. Heh.
Can't agree more... RSS is FTW. It's nice to have the ability to subscribe to someone's website, and have a feed that shows everything. I do web design, and I always make sure to leave in RSS. I was told once not to because they want to generate hits directly to the site, to generate ad revenue, and I explained that with RSS people will still hit the site, and in some ways more frequently because they will see things that interest them, then go directly for the graphics, or embedded things. But relying on FB or Twitter, is such a mess... It's the "IN" thing to aggregate all your posting from FB or Twitter and import into blogs, but I hope to see the reverse again. Wordpress and Zoomla has some great plugins to post from blog to either site. I always recommend that route. Anyways, I'm glad to see that this frustration isn't solely my own. RSS4LIFE!
Raise yo hands and preach it sista! Also how will that directly impact the usability of systems ( like Google Reader) that we use to automatically comb the internet for information from sites.
here here! I will never stop reading RSS feeds! My google reader is the most effective way for me to learn about what's going on.
I agree with this post on RSS. I enjoy categorically organizing my interests into simple, concise information with the ability to access via mobile or through my browsers, aka Google Reader.
+1 for Ms. Day.
Can't wait for the Google Reader/RSS circle API.
+Thomas Knight But if people did not use Facebook where would global marketing firms buy personal uniquely identifiable user information and demographic data from?
Couldn't agree more, I rely heavily on RSS, and miss a ton of stuff on social media. Can't and won't spend my life on them.
I love my Google Reader. As +MGuhlin says, "... RSS feeds serve as placid pools compared to the burbling, bustling Twitter/Facebook/G+/Plurk streams that combine to wash any coherent thoughts away."

I just wish there was the "Share" connection with G+ that exists between Reader & Buzz. I'm hopeful it's still coming.
I log into facebook maybe once or twice a week at most. And I will not set up a twitter account simply because no one would want to hear all my inane thoughts.
If they don't have RSS then I don't keep up with them at all. Not every one likes to use all the cool new systems.
Dear Felicia,

It would be awesome if you made one of those overly used "Mac vs PC" style videos in the form of Google+ vs Everything. Cheers.

Yes yes yes. I use RSS with Google Reader and Feedly for everything. Twitter is nice for fun stuff that can be lost to the ether, but RSS is the way to go for real content.
100% agree. I live off RSS. If you don't use it then you don't exist to me.
I still haven't got the info filter I want - too many different ways to follow blogs on different systems. Why can't I just direct everything to one place and browse it like a magazine? Why? WHY?
I can't agree more. RSS is a very powerful tool that is being under utilized. It's going to get worse as people start monetizing their content. I've started seeing feeds that use keys to make sure you've paid to use this feature!
Removing RSS is like getting "disappeared" ON PURPOSE! What kind of marketing strategy is that?
RSS is the only right way to disseminate lots of information over time electronically
I never use RSS myself, but have it on my website anyway for anyone who does want it. I prefer email, and I'm surprised at how many blogs don't have that as an option!
I love that Google Reader allows me to add blogs to my list whether or not they enable RSS... now if I could just get an iPhone app for it...
"What is RSS?" - GET OFF THE INTERNET!! But I agree Felicia, RSS is such a handy tool. I use it almost exclusively for Tumblr (I haven't seen my Dash in months!) and subscribe to quite a few feeds. At this point I am so over FaceBook and Twitter I don't care what they do, but the rest of the Net needs to catch up. Glad to see Google likes and supports it.
Agreed! Now I just wish there is a better integration between google reader and google plus. 
Just as it was once said that "a Democracy does not want great men", it's also becoming true that "a commerce central web does not want power users"
Very well put. Especially about people being HIGHLY selective on whom they follow. Honestly, if I follow someone on Twitter and notice on average that they update very often, I stop following them. I hate going through numerous screens of junk in order to find someone else's stuff.
While I may care about what kind of coffee you love, I do not care about EVERY CUP OF COFFEE YOU DRINK. EVER. ALWAYS. HOURLY.
Though I may care about a caffeine dependency destroying their face. :(

...and no, I have no idea what kind of coffee you like.
I totally agree with your rant. I love Google reader and RSS and to add to your rant, Google is trying to push people away from reader... I wish they would continue to let me use both reader and google+
+1 for RSS. Basically people cutting that functionality out from blogs lose me as a reader. Not that it matters when a single person does that, but I can't be quite alone in this.
Wah, RSS never did anything to them. I use my Google Reader a lot.
Love and added your RSS to me system.
The only thing worse than cutting RSS completely is to cut what's posted on your RSS feed to just a headline and maybe a little snippet of the post/article content. It just infuriates me when I see bloggers/sites do this. Be glad I'm following your content...don't force me to "Click thru to continue reading." That's a sure-fire way to get dropped from my RSS feeds...
You hit the nail on the head with your Information Colanders analogy. FB in particular today is a barrier to updates with many updates not making into a feed regardless of a users settings.

If you're trusting your communications to a third party like this you run a big risk of losing control of it. In addition you're losing a direct contact with your audience instead choosing to be mediated by said third parties. Look how up in arms the Magazines and Newspaper industries have been about this when dealing with Apple and iTunes/Subscriptions.

Lazy and foolish I think.
I personally find Twitters lists very helpful in this respect and I use them quite considerably. Though I most certainly agree that RSS feeds are necessary for any blogging or news site.
I agree (#268), RSS is still my most used channel to follow blogs and frequently updated sides. The others are no alternatives.
RSS is the main way I keep a track of when blogs that I follow update. For my own blogs I would never think of removing the RSS link because I would want an easy way for people to know when I have a new post.

Twitter is a great way to engage with people and let people know when you have an update but not the only way and Facebook is one more way to keep your fans in the loop of what is going on, same with Google+.
Not to mention that so many sites / blogs now seem to only give snippets of the content, making you click through to see the entire post. All that does is make the RSS feed no more helpful than the Twitter repeat.
eric c
Google reader on android = win
I agree ... actually I had not noticed this trend of not having RSS, but I know I'm annoyed anytime (rare) I do come across a website I'd like to follow that doesn't have RSS. I keep a "junk" email for ones like that that do have an email subscription option, if that's all I can get, but I don't use Twitter (at all) and I use Facebook only for keeping up with friends/family. I would not use either one for keeping up with updates from various blogs/sites, personally -- I just don't have time.
+1 I see dead feads in my reader ... I got 300+ of them and continue to remove dead ones :-[. site without rss not existed for me 
I am immensely grateful for this post. Content providers and consumers alike need to call out disturbing trends in content delivery. The more freedom one has in this arena, the higher the quality of the content produced.
i like RSS to create my own privat newspaper (i can choose RSS from many more sources) i think, it's not good for us, to see FB/Twitter rules over the web :P More sources more freedom...
I like your post I use RSS a lot and I'm hate pages that doesn't have it
I agree wholeheartedly. I almost exclusively use GoogleReader to parse the RSS feeds for the sites I really care about. If a site is posting to a social media site, I'm probably not seeing it.
You know I agree with you, Felicia Day. I tell those who are starting up websites / web presence / web store / web etc... that while getting in on the whole FB and Twitter posting is good to build, don't forget other technologies that came before it. Just because it's "Trendy" doesn't mean it'll get you the best.... um.... revenue (Sorry I couldn't think of a good word here. :P ).
Most people get their information from Twitter or Facebook, that's why companies are moving to those media. The problem is most people get information from their friends. Studies have shown that a small percentage of the population actually gets the information, and the rest just pass it around. Those "getters" who are putting information into the sharing circles are a more technologically aware group who use a large number of sources and pick the best bits to share. In other words, RSS users.

Killing RSS to reach customers directly is an understandable strategy doomed to fail.
Sorry, I don't know how to use RSS, it seems complicated for me. So for, I just read posts on Google+ or FB and headlines. Does +Felicia Day have an RSS Feed? Do I have to download or go to a main RSS website to create one?
I found it irritating as well as a few websites I wanted to be kept up to date about only updated their twitter account. Here's a a way around it.
Get their twitter account alias, and replace the ___ with it in this url, then paste it into your chosen RSS software:

Of course, before RSS/web2puntOh/socialretardation, there were news groups and mail lists which did the same thing in a more decentralised manner more efficiently. But then came the 'what's an email client?' generation, and now we have an internet full of clueless click monkeys who neither know, nor care, that the freedom of information the internet affords is being attacked ever more brutally by fascist governments colluding with corporations and each other.
This point has probably been made but as a content creator you should own your content not give it away to facebook or twitter. They will monetize it and possibly delete it as they wish.
I use Google Reader and the excellent Reeder app on my Macbook Air and iPad to get through hundreds of articles every morning thanks to the magic of RSS. I will not sift through a social media stream to get to the good parts. Keep me efficient and KEEP RSS!
This reminds me of all the "Google+ will kill blogs!" debates that happened when Google+ came out, all because of the longer posting capabilities you took advantage of in this very post. Regardless of whether you were for or against that claim, its a fact that blogs offer way more in terms of customization and versatility. Why throw all that away to try and appear "with it" and "ahead of the curve" ?

Now, I'm not very familiar with the capabilities of RSS, but I do know that Wordpress blogs will auto-generate a feed, so there's no work on your part. Why take away features that require no effort?
I love RSS feeds. I use it for everything. From ESPN to my morning comics. I use it for all the tech blog sites as well. And all the joke sites as well. And Twitter. I use it for everything.
I have to agree, twitter and FB are not a substitute for RSS.
Twitter is a good news source if you follow the right people, but it's strong point is as a replacement for random surfing, where RSS keeps people reading the SAME sources again and again. Plus, it's SAFER to follow an RSS feed that you know the source of, than to click on short URLs in individuals' twitter feeds that may or may not have been hacked.
I am a complete Google Reader addict. I can't live without RSS.
While I agree that it doesn't seem to make much sense to remove RSS from a site, I have to say that I love Twitter Lists. I don't use the browser interface, though. Tweetdeck on my MacBook, and TweetBot on my iPhone both have good list support. 
I use RSS to keep up with blogs and websites I read every day. I don't use twitter at all and certainly would not track those sources of information on facebook. If they drop RSS, they drop me.
Many websites can be subscribed to simply by pasting the URL into a feed reader, no RSS button needed. Doesn't work every time, but it works well enough for me.
Hear hear! I hadn't had a reason to use Google Reader for quite a long time, until it finally occurred to me that just about all of my webcomics have RSS feeds! Those that don't, I've pretty much lost track of, and it's not worth trying to get caught up again.
I like to use Google Reader to know of hardware updates for my computer. Gigabyte my motherboard maker supports RSS for new updates, while ATI doesnt. Its kind of annoying to have to check for myself if there is an update for my GPU
Huh. I haven't noticed sites removing the RSS option. I would be quite perturbed if I blog, etc I follow dropped RSS support.
I never really thought much of RSS until I got my tablet. Having a good RSS feed into my Pulse app is a godsend, and the primary way I get all of my news. Here's hoping this doesn't turn into a huge trend. I still don't have a facebook or a twitter, so neither would do me any good.
Ms. Day, you are a woman for all seasons. I am totally gobsmacked that RSS is on your radar. RSS (through emacs and gnus here) distills the pile of blogs I follow into a managable and efficiently-read order, leaving out the slow screen paints and the advertising on their sites, returning all the information and none of the cruft. For a blogger looking at their blog as a channel of information RSS makes sense. For advertisers, blogs are a place of shiny objects attracting eyeballs to bump into their ads, and for that RSS is a marketing fail. Following websites on social media? Sorry, there's just not enough time in the day.
Sometimes I get annoyed when I want to subsrcibe to an RSS feed to remember to check on website updates only to find out I can't.
The RSS feed for posts here seems to be:

Google Reader translates this into a whole other API when I paste it in, which is causes me some small amount of worry, but it works at the moment.

Ooh, looks like another Dragon Age episode to watch.
I am practically exclusively using RSS (using Google Reader) to consume the content from the sites I follow. Apart from that there are just a very small handful of sites that I ever visit. If any of the sites whose RSS feeds I read stop providing the RSS feed, I will simply stop reading that site.
RSS is a great for mobile. Why a website would waste $ and time investing in a mobile version of their site rather than use and push RSS reading is beyond me. If a site has a good full featured RSS feed I'm more inclined to read the full version when I'm on my Desktop. 
I Very Much Agree
+Felicia Day - Thank you. If I ever come across someone who is wondering why their readership is going down, and I find out they took down their RSS feed, I'm pointing them to this post and telling them to pay attention. 
RSS replaced usenet for me, there's nothing out there to replace RSS at the moment, Of course I miss my local BBS most of all. Ah, progress, even rgcud is now a FaceBook group while the usenet group sits empty.
You have my vote. RSS has always been king.
Chan Li
cant agree more ! rsss is awesome for reading
+1000! Twitter is a poor substitute for RSS. Facebook is far worse. I wonder if part of the problem with the die-off of RSS is that Google Reader effectively killed off almost all the other RSS readers, and something less niche and geeky doesn't have a chance in the marketplace.
The short visibility time of anything posted on FB, Twitter or G+ does seem like an obvious reason to prefer RSS for anything that you really want seen. I haven't personally seen a move away from RSS but if it does start happening with sites I follow their value to me will drop significantly. Here's hoping RSS remains a common way of disseminating information.
I would hate to see RSS get completely replaced Facebook or Twitter, considering I don't have an account for either. The efficiency and customization of RSS would be sorely missed.
I know you will never see this comment, but I loved this rant. I have a small Blog about comics, movies, books, and TV. Mainly comics, but I also follow a few people. I do like the way Blogger collects the posts of those I follow. It helps me see what is new and filter stuff I need to avoid or maybe check out. I figure RSS is like this after your comment. I am not on Facebook, I don't want to be on the wide open range of the Internet. My geeky love of strange stuff has caused me harm from a woman who wanted my job and I just don't need the hassle, also don't Tweet and it seems easy to get myself in trouble. I like though that I can follow you and keep your stuff in the circle away from the people at work, just to have a life away from one thing without worlds colliding.

OK long Ramble, but You Rock!
I also feel like those who use rss dont make it easy to find. 
I blog, and my blogs have feeds. It just makes sense to do so.
I also follow feeds. For me, feeds are a quick and easy way to catch up on all the blog reading I do - and since most feeds go into my email client, I can read the feeds at the same time as my email.
I agree, +Felicia Day. Not allowing feeds is not the way to go. It has stopped me from reading several blogs, and if it keeps going, it will continue to do so.
Thanks for posting this. Perhaps some of the admins are fans and they might listen to you. I usually don't read sites with no RSS/ATOM feeds. still not as long as Tom Anderson. Getting there tho!:-D
I agree. I think RSS feeds are the closest thing to a real-world magazine subscription.
See something you like and think "I'd like to read more of this". Subscribe to the RSS and new issues arrive on your virtual doorstep as soon as they're published.
You're also spot on about being to absorb a lot of (hopefully) relevant content in a short time; Facebook and Twitter require a lot of active filtering to find anything useful.
I actually never got into RSS because the few sites that I want to see that much of I go directly to the site multiple times per day. All of the others, their content isn't important enought to follow and I drop by when the mood strikes me.....and there usually isn't enough fresh stuff that I miss much.
I couldn't agree more. Trying to find a specific site's content through a social media service is a needle in a haystack. An RSS feed gives you a clear and concise view of that website's output. I think another dangerous trend is that of moving your site's content to a site such as Facebook, which I see more and more. Putting content on your own site gives you full control over the user experience. Publishing content on Facebook instead restricts who can see it and benefits Facebook much more than it benefits you.
Z Kam
Agreed. RSS is still an essential tool on the web.
RSS is awesome, it ensures I never miss a post from something I'm interested in :) waaay better than facebook & twitter trying to guess what I would be most likely interested in
I use RSS and Google Reader a ton. I completely agree that twitter and Facebook require too much filtering. They are fun to use, but for gathering news about whatever, RSS is the way to go. It brings the web to you.
+Felicia Day , As a Web Developer, I couldn't agree more. It has become a status symbol, these numbers of "followers" and "likes" on social sites like Twitter and Facebook. They are not getting a number from RSS. Even though RSS is what the user wants, the webmaster wants everyone else to see their number jump up... Its sad really.
Never used RSS, but an avid user of the Search function. Hopefully FB is on the way out, it is akin to M$, huge, bloated and full of ads! I hope that google+ makes it, but find it a drag on my phone, whether that is the product or my service provider is another matter entirely.
Google Reader and RSS have made impressive, awesome, huge changes in the way I read content. Less time spent navigating different sites, more consumption on mobile devices which frees up even more time for me, triage of content to decide what's important/not, easily saving content to read later and being able to keep track of it... Most of my feeds are webcomics, some of which force me to open a link to a browser window instead of viewing the comic right in the feed, but it's still WAY worth it. And saving fantastic blog posts (like Wil Wheaton's homebrewing experiments and recipes) is really awesome. It took me a long time to decide to learn about/find use for RSS feeds, but now that I have, I can see how absolutely necessary this will become. I think RSS is just beginning; many of my other techie friends are just learning about it... it just needs to spread around some more.
I love RSS, but haven't noticed this problem. Firefox got rid of their RSS icon, but there's an addon "RSS icon" that solves it for me on every site I've wanted to add to my feed =/
I've never really decided on a good RSS client, and therefore never really got into it, but i've always wanted to, and i agree that it's pretty sad that it's going.
RSS is the only thing that lets me work and browse the net. I'd never work without it ;p. Keep fighting the good fight.
I can only suspect an ulterior motive. It's like the people (Penny Arcade, as much as I love you, I'm looking at you) who don't post the content people really want to see to their RSS feed to force them to click-through to the website so they can log hits.

It seems some sites are abandoning RSS for the benefits that Facebook can grant them. As a person who doesn't have a Facebook account by choice - and our numbers are growing - this is a policy that's going to bite them in the ass before long.
Aren't twitter and Facebook meant to be more social? I like my news in one place and my friends in another. Making them interact together is ideal but shoving them into one space is not going to make it any easier
I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't even try following over half the websites I follow if it wasn't for RSS. Not only due to well filtered content I actually care about, but also due to the fact that nowadays people can't build websites. They hear buzzwords like Flash and HTML5 and go into various hate modes against one or the other, yet no one can build a decent, fast website. On many a site I have to wait up to a minute for it to become smoothly scrollable due to the obnoxious amount of embedded images, ads and horrendously unoptimized javascript (uproxx anyone?), and I use Chrome gosh darnit.

Taking RSS away is a silly move, and can only have negative impact. It's not like it costs anything to have it there - it's all automatic anyway.
Hopefully the impending google reader/ google plus integration will let you still use reader rss via the +1 button on the site...

Or something.
Not to forget that these days you can't even use the Twitter search without having an account. RSS is a direct connection between website and user, why would you want a big company to get in the middle of that connection? Especially as they make their money by harvesting the data that's created by that connection?

Actually, maybe that's just why blog authors do that. Facebook and Twitter offer a lot of analytics mechanisms. You could share a link harvested from RSS via mail and noone would be the wiser, but if you'd Like or retweet it, that'd appear in the appropriate statistics.
RSS lets you or your users pick any client you want to use - this IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Sadly with Twitter, Facebook and (yes) Google Plus, its all closed bospoke systems. You use their system or not at all.
Its a real shame Wave didnt catch on, as anyone could have made a wave client or sever and they would have all worked together.
hehehe, I kind of want to feature this rant on my blog
I completely agree with you though about not disabling RSS feeds. With so many ways to communicate your information, it makes sense to avail of all of them.
But Felicia Day, RSS feeds are so '90-ish..!! Facebook is the new game! Shame on you!

Seriously, not. As a programmer I always look for the RSS before anything else. Social networking sites are rarely the places where I spend most of the time. They seem so cluttered with information that I simply consider it a big mess. RSS is simple after all. And it just takes a simple URI!

Old school ftw!
+1 agreed. RSS is extremely useful. Interestingly, it's often still used on web sites that have no obvious RSS feed links, you just need to check your browser's menus; in Firefox's menu, it's Bookmarks > Subscribe to this page.
RSS is the most effective way for web content to come to you. Of course following a twitter account can give you a web link, but think about mobility : with RSS you can sync all your feeds at once (like an email account) and read them offline, even in a bunker or on the moon (where 3G network is not yet available)
P.S.I HATE JUST HAVING ONE WAY TO STAY IN CONTACT WITH ANY NEW FRIENDS! THEREFORE, HERE IS MY MAIL:, and you can text me...or call me, at anytime.Day or night!0793742276
For sites that you absolutely must follow in spite of their short-sighted RSS strategy, you can use a service like Full Text RSS Feed.

You give them a truncated RSS feed and they attempt to collect the full posts and give you an RSS feed in return.

(Not affiliated; just a satisfied user.)

That said, I think I'm going to take a stand and drop those partial feeds I've been holding on to. There's just too much other content to read and enjoy; it's not worth the extra effort.
Hear, hear. RSS is my favorite way to keep up with most sites, and if a site doesn't have a good RSS feed, that usually just means I give up trying to keep up with them.
Same here, I have a lot of feeds I check daily, and some I only check weekly.
I use Tweetdeck, which allows you to make columns for specific Twitter groups. This pretty much creates and RSS Feed of tweets. I agree lists are no replacement for RSS on Twitter's main site, but if you set up Tweetdeck it can be. Even if you only use Tweetdeck for various feeds, if you don't want to use it for Twitter as a whole.
Just read this on Google Reader. RSS is a god send! Couldn't do my job without it.
Not just RSS but ATOM format as well. Feed readers handle both formats quite well. I think there are other reasons we're seeing a decline in RSS. It makes it very easy to use content from other websites. In my last job, I helped to write an application that fetched RSS feeds from thousands of sites and then stored the content categorized for consumption from clients. We downloaded news articles, etc. and used that to show large companies what the media was saying about their products, executives, etc.
There is absolutely no way to efficiently extract information from fb, g+, or twit. I miss half of my friend's "important" posts, and vice versa. I don't personally follow many blogs, but I understand how this new trend could prove to be extremely irritating.
I wonder if +Felicia Day remembers when you could RSS a stream of FB updates. I don't think you can do that anymore. :(
As a developer, it really pisses me off when people don't offer RSS feeds.
hi i, m sajid .i want to friendship with u .would u like?
I agree I don't know why there doing that,, I use RSS all the time?
Agreed! Not to mention my IT department has FB and Twitter blocked. I have never had a Twitter account and I recently dumped my FB account for all of the reasons above. I do use RSS a lot since not a lot of places have Google + yet.
I totally love Google reader to keep up with sites and to keep track of podcasts to download and import to my Ipod. I would not be able to get any work done if I had to visit each and every site daily.
followup to +Kevin Bitler : i do not read content that does/can not come through my google reader. I have ceased reading a couple webcomics that i followed for years because the creators refuse to make an rss feed. i do not follow non-personal-friends on twitter, i log into facebook maybe once a month. On the other hand, if someone wants to take away their rss, I'm going to consider that I am their loss, not that they are mine.
Agreed! I recently saw a research that says that the life expectation of a post on Twitter is a little under 3 hours and on Facebook is about 3 and a half hours. What that means is that if you post something on twitter, if nobody reads it on the next 3 hours, chances are that nobody is gonna read it. And it's true the other way around, if you follow someone chances are that you are only gonna read what's been posted on the last 3 hours from the time you are checking them. There's a lot of information being missed.
I use RSS all the time! Actually I almost never visit a website anymore, I rely mainly on RSS feeds!
google reader is our last hope.
I so agree with you!! I just started to use twitter and after looking at it for one day I am already getting annoyed with it layout. Facebook is just full of games instead of actually updates on how people are doing I do miss the good old day when it was simple blog sites with RSS. It was so easy to keep track of peoples posts and read the ones I want to read. So yeah you get a +1 for this rant.
ITA*10000000000000 :) love google reader and honestly i dont read blogs if they dont have RSS 
I can't understand why a site wouldn't want an RSS feed. Your feed is like the official publication of your product. I even read twitter through RSS feeds in Google Reader. Which oddly enough is how I found this post.
Totally agree! I find that I don't keep track of sites that don't offer an RSS feed even if they are super interesting.
Plus it forces you to use FB or Twitter if you want to follow that person. means you won't follow them because you refuse to use FB or Twitter.
Hallelujah! Preach it! I don't want Twitter, and Facebook isn't for seriously following something. RSS is still the best solution.
So... I should set up an RSS feed for my blog so that millions will read it and I'll become world famous and awesome?!

Sweet, I'm gonna be so awesome.
I've personally found that if a blog (or similar site) isn't willing to put up an RSS feed, they have to be doing something amazing for me to put forth the effort to actually follow what they do. Most aren't.
If a site doesn't have an RSS feed, they're not going to get repeat views from me. I'll just forget about them. It's not a vindictive thing: It's just that I see and read so much media that if I can't be notified through a filtered service when an update is posted, I won't seek out their content.

I have a facebook account that I don't use, and I don't check my Google+ more often than a couple of times a week (and actively uncircle those people who are only promoting a blog). My Twitter account is so far gone now that I'd rather just start a new account than follow the stream of crap coming through it (I didn't know how to social when I started with Twitter).

On the other hand, when Google Reader picks up an update, a little icon in the corner of my browser says "hey! something new!" It's unobtrusive, ubiquitous, and accessible. I don't have to slog through ten-thousand updates to get to new content. If there's a better way to internet, I'd like to know.
perhaps this trend away from rss is due to the fact that there are quite a few people who don't know what to do with rss and wouldn't know rss if it.... well... rss'd them in the face... Perhaps if someone Famous who is passionate about RSS posted a tutorial on how to use RSS properly more people would see/learn the value of RSS and begin using it.
Motivated by +Felicia Day herself, I have caught up to the digital age and enabled RSS on my blog!

Go there for stories of soul-sucking creatures, marginally trustworthy adventurers, and soon -- the trial of a zombie for eating brains!
I don't really subscribe to websites via RSS either, but I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to use Twitter, and now that I have Google+, I see no need to use FB(Never have, anyway), what I'm REALLY hating is companies that aren't even putting up websites anymore in favor of FB pages, or are only having feedback via FB. Forcing me to use a substandard form of communication for your product? I don't think so, I'll just go elsewhere. At least RSS feeds are useful. Business need to quit focusing so tightly on FB, and politicians need to stay the Hell away from Twitter altogether.
a lot of the websites I 'visit' are actually just aggregated in Google Reader. I've noticed the trend too, but any website that doesn't want to cater for my "needs", looses a follower. can RSS twitter feeds. Also, RSS is dead. Not because of twitter or fb. Website designers have been trying to phase it out for awhile now. RSS is a freaking evil format. There are better ones out there.
So true. I love RSS because I can download my feeds while online and then read them later offline, categorize to my heart's content, and share later when back online. Twitter and FB have nothing on that. In general the idea of taking away ANY method of someone potentially connecting with your content just seems silly. It's only a few lines of code at most, I mean really people! And while we're at it, here's a thumbs down to the people who give you a sentence or two in the RSS feed and make you go back to the website to find out what the freakin' article actually contains. Not useful.
ur crazy for fallowing someone
Hopefully apps like Pulse and google reader continue to support and promote RSS.
Thx for the thoughts. I am now inspired to see about adding RSS to sites I am invovled with.
Since I started using RSS to keep up with my geek news and web comics I have a hard time keeping up with the few sites that don't use it. Including one of my favorites.
Thanks everyone who wrote about Google Reader. It's "giving me a hand" with a few blogs I follow.
+Dennis O'Brien Yes. G+ integration of GReader has brought back focus on RSS. +Robert Scoble posted in his blog about it.

"But something happened over the past few weeks that’s gotten me reenergized about RSS. What is it?

Well, Google, in its new “focus on Google+” strategy, has announced that it’s dropping some features from Google Reader. Mostly the social stuff.

Now THAT is interesting! One reason why I left Google Reader (and RSS) is because Twitter and Facebook just became dominant in the world of news. For instance, look at my Twitter news feed of news articles from major news brands around the world. Stick that into Flipboard and you have a world-class newspaper that NOTHING can match.

This change in Google Reader is going to be very interesting to watch."
With Yahoo Pipes and other similar tools, it's possible (with a bit of work) to create a feed for just about any page, whether the author provides one or not. That doesn't change the truth of what you've stated, that it's counter-productive for sites to stop offering a feed, but it's nice to know there's a workaround for my own personal convenience.
Yes! Without RSS I never see anything posted by those I want to see unless I visit their FB page or place them in a special circle. They get lost in a sea of more recent or more active posts. That is a fact. I hit my RSS reader at least 3 times a week. If you have something to say or promote you better allow RSS to make sure your readers see it. G+ Pages / FB pages / Twitter are the equivalent of a peanut vendor shouting "Peanuts!" one time and then diving in to a closet.
Agreed. RSS can't be beaten by twitter or facebook.

It's the best way to keep track of blogs or other updates.
I have been using Google Reader since quite a while and being able to check blog updates is very easy as I have categorized them accordingly.

P.S.: Twitter can also be a nice way to keep track of RECENT updates by using lists through applications like tweetdeck. Though I agree that the basic interface provided by twitter is not helpful in this scenario.
Ryan J
Well said!
Not many mainstream users know how to use RSS. Maybe the RSS button is being removed because relatively few people subscribe that way.
^agreed. Paul Breen nailed it on the head I think... until the general masses learn how to properly use and organize RSS it won't catch on as it should.
the problem with rss is it's hard to tell when someone viewed it. rss readers don't report which articles you read, and they don't option well for ad revenue.
RSS is just a "really simple" option. It's lightweight, proven, and very manageable. I will not let it die.
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