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RSS: What Not Dying Looks Like



It’s always odd to hear people say RSS is dead. The fact is, RSS is easily the most successful stealth, insurgent technology on the web. It is pervasive and is the engine for much of the Internet.

Apple uses it to syndicate computer updates. Your podcast subscriptions rely on RSS. Every Wordpress blog is RSS enabled and every major news site is broadcasting via RSS. They’re all syndicated. They all have an RSS feed. It’s the background hum of the Internet.

There are millions of feeds out there, continually connecting users to their favorite content. Just about everything online except Facebook and Twitter is available via RSS.

Even more importantly, RSS has proven to be resilient and durable regardless of what corporate interests want to do with it. Netscape invented the underlying code in the late 90’s, and then took away all documentation and support in 2001 after AOL bought them out. But even that didn’t slow the dissemination. 

And then last year, the biggest player on the Internet took its ball and went home when Google killed its Reader. Despite the fact that Google retired the most popular RSS application on the Net, it did not affect RSS in any appreciable way. All of those feeds are still available and users are still getting their content delivered exactly as they want it. What greater proof is there of the resiliency of RSS?

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"Just about everything online except Facebook and Twitter is available via RSS." 

Which is funny because they too used to offer RSS.