Quora Answer : Is RSS feeds still relevant in today's conditions?

Dec 18

RSS feeds are "relevant" in the sense that they are a known and solid technology that "just works". And when people use them, they are very useful.

The "problem" with RSS is not RSS. The problem with RSS is ... to put it bluntly ... "capitalism".

Many corporations now want to own and control what we write online and lock it up in their silos.

Facebook wants everyone on Facebook, talking on the Facebook servers, and dependent on Facebook and, therefore, available to be sold to Facebook's advertisers. Twitter is the same. Quora is the same.

RSS is an open protocol, and intended to be part of an open platform not within any particular silo.

The great thing about an RSS reader is that you could, for example, program one which filters out adverts.

That's great for people who write content. Great for people who read content. Not great for the VCs who invested their money trying to build Facebook and Twitter and Quora into domineering monopolies.

So RSS is relevant if we choose it. When we choose to use RSS, eg. we make our blog writing or social media available in this format, we support the open web and a platform which is available to all.

When we prefer to use silos that refuse RSS. Or, like Quora, pull a bait-and-switch by initially supporting RSS and then switching it off, we are helping those who have a vested interest in closing down the open web, to win.

No, I don't have the solution, I'm self-evidently, still here writing on Quora, which goes against what I would advocate.

(Note that it still is, just about, possible to get hold of my writing from Quora. See How to Extract Your Data From Quora and Reddit)

Nevertheless, I do use RSS in my other sites etc. And I would always recommend supporting it. Other platforms will come and go, but open protocols will be around and usable almost indefinitely.