RSS: The Redheaded Step Child of Social Media


So I’m in love with RSS and have been for a very long time now. I see so much potential in what RSS can do for me, and it’s the one social media tool that I use every single day. I use it more than Twitter or Facebook. It powers all my autofeeds, and I even feature my Delicious RSS Feed in the sidebar of my blog (See “What I’m Reading” towards the bottom).

RSS, however, is seen (in my opinion) as sort of a redheaded stepchild of social media. It’s not sexy, like Twitter or Facebook, so it doesn’t get much attention, but it truly is an integral part of your social experience, whether you know it or not.

I know many people who have abandoned their RSS readers for Twitter, but what they fail to realize is that if no one used RSS, then the web would be much harder to discover. Sure we have Tweet and Facebook Like buttons, but how else are you going to have content from your favorite sites delivered to you daily without fail?

There is so much potential in an RSS feed. From using RSS Feeds to create group blogs, to auto-feeding content (yours & others) to your social outposts, to using it to automate and integrate your social presences. The ideas are endless. Basically, if you want content to go from one place to another, then RSS can usually help fill that want.

Earlier this month, TechCrunch (and another) talked about how RSS is dying and that Facebook & Twitter hold the smoking gun. Partly fueled by TechCrunch musing on it’s analytics and partly because of an announcement that in Firefox 4.0 Mozilla will be removing the RSS button from the toolbar.

However, apparently Matthew Ingram at GigaOm agrees with me though. And he makes the point I’m trying to make about RSS, just in a much more strategic way. RSS is becoming a foundation of the web, whether you recognize it or not. It is our duty to see the future of what RSS can be and leverage that to make a better and productive web experience for your members or customers.

So what’s the coolest use of RSS that you’ve ever seen?


Photo Credit

Disclosure: @Gearheadgal is a coworker of mine at R2integrated, which is probably why I saw her tweet in the first place. You should seriously follow her though, she’s awesome. 😉


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