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Archive for May, 2009

Will Twitter kill RSS?

Twitter

The hype around Twitter has been growing enormously on the last weeks. Here in Brazil, writers from all around the web are writing and blogging about it everywhere. Almost everyone has a little blue bird on their blog side bar saying “follow me”.

Many bloggers and news corp have been using Twitter to broadcast news, which is very similar to what RSS already does. Check it out:

The Twitter way

  1. Blogger writes a new post;
  2. Blogger tweets about it and adds a tyniurl link to the post;
  3. Followers receive and read the tweet;
  4. If it’s interesting, they acess it.

The RSS way

  1. Blogger writes a new post;
  2. The post is automatically included on the blog RSS, no twitting needed;
  3. Signer accesses his RSS reader and gets the whole post, no clicking needed.

As I see it, to share news, RSS is simpler. No twitting nor clicking around.

So, why use Twitter then?

First of all, I don’t. I have an account, but rarely visit it. But, after reading and discussing a lot about it, I found out 2 interesting ways, one of which led to the recent hype.

  • Real time search. Using Twitter, everyone has access to everyone’s opinions about everything. It’s a soup of ideas about any topic you might imagine, and whenever new topics arise, people twitt about them. So, using tools like twitter search, it’s possible to learn what people are saying right now about some interesting topic. It’s unprecedent. And that’s why Sergei Brin and Larry Page are saying Twitter is ahead of Google on it.
  • Sharing comments. RSS exists to share news. Besides Google Reader recent advances on comment and sharing, RSS was not meant for it. Twitter wasn’ t also, but it does the job very efficiently. Whenever someone shares a link on twitter, they add a comment to it. They show their opinions to the world. So, you subscribe to a blog when you notice that blogger posts interesting stuff and you should follow someons when you see that someone posts interesting links and opinions.

Thinking about it, using twitter to share comments and news could kill RSS because people would only read news shared by their friends whom they trust. But, where would their friends find the news? From other twitts? It’s easy to see that this recursion would lead either to a news corp or blog twitt or to a RSS feed. So, the initial “sharers” will have to find the news somewhere and, as said, the best way is through rss.

So, calm down, RSS won’t die.

RSS

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