Is RSS dead?

I've been catching up on my RSS feeds lately. A new thing for me. It has actually been a fairly disappointing experience. Well over half my RSS feeds are truncated, forcing you to click through to a site. I tend to browse most of my feeds using Google Reader mobile on the Nokia E71. This is a pain in the ass.

I understand that people need to drive traffic to increase advertising revenue. But are our body of long tail publishers so desperate to drive traffic that they're willing to bastardise the cleanest form of information transfer we've seen this side of the 2000's?

A truncated RSS feed is useless to me. I can't repackage, recredit or reproduce that information in any way. Isn't that what the protocol is all about?

Your views?


  1. I certainly wouldn't say that it makes rss dead. As rss consumers we simply need to be more active in not following feeds which don't offer full content. Personally I'm very unlikely to follow your blog if you don't offer such a feed...

  2. I have just had a heart-wrenching breakup with Google after the Chrome browser started messing with my RAM and my machine's efficiency.

    However, Google more than made up for it after I started using Google Reader.

    I have since happened on two brilliant income streams my developer partner says he should be able to "slap" together - both based on and driven by RSS.

    Your experience with RSS is more related to abuse of the technology's functionailty rather than the fundamental objectives of the technology.

    (forgive the gobbledygook. i normally speak simple english)

  3. Good question, Andy.

    Personally I'd say it's not dead, but those truncated feeds drive me up the wall too!

    Most days I even make a point of not reading them or clicking through just on principle... one of these days I'll end up unsubscribing too I'm sure.

    Great post! Hope this one gets widely read!

  4. Truncated feeds are damn annoying however I suspect many do it to force a click through thereby improving their actual website visit stats perhaps.

    I don't think RSS is dead - not by a long shot I just think that more ppl are discovering it (good) and therefore abusing it (baaad). :)

  5. I'm not sure it's "abuse" of the RSS feeds - pretty obvious that people are trying to make a buck, and that's fair.

    However, I think it's destroys the usefulness of the medium.

    As more people discover it, surely it'll just get worse?

    I wonder if anyone has stats on the success of ads inside an RSS feed? That would certainly encourage people to include full feeds...

  6. Truncated feeds are like foreplay without the sex. Lol! Geeks.

  7. First of all, I'm a BIG fan of RSS, and I thin it's far from dying, at least for power users (that's maybe the proble, average user don't have a clue of what can RSS can do for them).

    Being a such a fan, Andy, I of course feel the same as you about truncated feeds. But i don't suffer them anymore. Have you tried yahoo pipes? using something like this ( you can get rid of most of them (there are some exceptions, though). Give it a shot!

  8. @Miguel I hear you. Had your comment in my InBox for ages - meaning to take a look. Looks sweet. Hacking away now...


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