Has RSS Gone Mainstream?

May 21st, 2007 | Categories: blogs, marketing, networks, social media, trends

RSS IconNot even close. The technology is status quo among bloggers and the blogosphere alike. It is even used by the majority on online news agencies and portals. But it has yet to reach widespread adoption among the general public.

This question came about when I pondered whether RSS was now common knowledge or whether it still lived in the web 2.0 echo chamber as we know it…

So I tried my ‘web 2.0 test’ on a couple of friends. I asked if they knew what RSS was and what RSS stood for. In all case, the first answer was ‘no’ and the second was ‘no idea’. This proved to me that RSS has not broken into the mainstream and has a long way to go.

So why is taking so long to reach a critical mass?

My guess is not because the technology is overly sophisticated or complicated to use. It is more of a question of perception. The ‘perceived’ complexity of RSS is what intimidates people and dissuades them from using the technology. The concept of ‘pulling a content feed’ is not difficult to grasp. The terminology and context placed around the system is what deters most people.

If an attempt can be made to humanize the technology and make it more user-friendly, my guess is that the adoption rate will skyrocket as people begin to realize the true benefits and advantages. The day my parents can understand the notion of ‘pulling a feed’ or even ‘feed reader’ will be the day I know RSS has made it.

One Comment

  1. Mark Evans Says:

    RSS won’t really go mainstream until it’s called something else other than RSS.


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