Are you using RSS?

September 17, 2010

I'm an avid RSS (Really Simple Syndication) user. I admit it. I've been addicted to RSS for a very long time. My feed reader of choice since 2006 has been Bloglines. I have more than 360 subscriptions. I subscribe to blog feeds, comment feeds, job posting feeds, Twitter feeds, and Facebook feeds. I mentally digest tremendous amounts of information through RSS.

When Ask.com announced last week that they were going to shut Bloglines down on October 1st, I was both saddened and understanding. Bloglines isn't making Ask.com enough money to justify its existence. The oft-used meme that "RSS is dead" once again reared its ugly head as virtual fingers were pointed at Twitter and Facebook as the reasons for the supposed demise of RSS.

While it's true that a lot of people consume a lot of information via Facebook and Twitter, I would posit that most student affairs practitioners have absolutely no idea about RSS and the value that it can have for their professional/personal development. Being on Facebook or using Twitter does not mean that they have given up on RSS. They never used RSS because it wasn't on their professional radar.

A lot of student affairs practitioners are on Facebook and Twitter. However, how many student affairs professionals use RSS? Early adopters can claim that RSS is dead, but for most people, RSS is just another unknown acronym.

I was curious to see how many of my Twitter followers (a lot of whom are student affairs folks) use RSS readers. I figured that the Twitter using community of student affairs folks who I engage with might be a bit more technical than the non-Twitter SA crowd and I was mostly right. Several people reported using Google Reader as their RSS feed reader. I wonder how the folks who answered me found out about RSS? Was it something that they learned about in school or were they just curious about that square orange icon that appears on so many websites?

Do you use RSS? Would you like to know more about it?

Do you tweet? Let's connect. Follow me on Twitter.


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