In recent years, RSS seemed to have become stale, with little new developments around it. It’s been available on just about every blog and there seem to have been considerable consolidation around Google Reader as a consumption platform. There have been a few other tools, like FlipBoard that have done a good job of presenting data from RSS feeds into their systems. Even so, there has been little news and little that is really new around RSS.
The problem with RSS has been that there has not been a very good discover-and-follow mechanism that allows people to easily find and then start following the content from an RSS feed. There have been RSS feed icons and various buttons and tools that people have added to their blog so that you can easily follow that particular RSS feed using a specific tool or platform but nothing that is truly open and works with all platforms and is one-click easy-to-use. It has been so easy to Friend, Like, Follow or +1 things with newer tools that RSS has really taken a back seat.
Google’s announcement that they will shut down Google Reader on July 1, 2013 and the firestorm that followed shows us two things:
- Google is following the trend to leave behind the open web in favour of controlled information silos.
- Many people are resistant to this trend.
This suggests that there is an opening to push for more open, federated systems for distributing information. Maybe with some updated or new protocols to better compete with the silos that Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are trying to force us into.