The Death of RSS

The tech press has recently been full of the demise of Google Reader and if you are going to transition to something else you now have less than a week.

If I’m honest I stopped using Reader some time ago preferring Twitter and iPad based apps such as Pulse and Zite and one suspects that this could well be the principal reason for Reader’s demise. However, RSS, the technology on which Reader is based, is dying a slow death anyway and these two images of emails I received recently prove that.

Both are from the service If This Then That (IFTTT) which allows you to link up certain services to create interactions such as sending Emails to Evernote or RSS feeds to Twitter. The first email I received was to tell me that I could no longer archive my tweets to Evernote using the RSS feed as Twitter has turned that off. As I write this there doesn’t seem to be an alternative  perhaps Twitter believes that tweets belong to them, who knows.


This second email arrived this morning to tell me that my daily dose of Dilbert cartoon which was delivered from RSS to my inbox was also no more. This is because, once again, the RSS feed has been turned off, in this case, I suspect, for marketing reasons. Scott Adams would like people to be visiting his website to view the cartoons and to view a few ads and, perhaps, to also purchase some Dilbert related items.


While I can better understand Adams’ reason for turning off the RSS hose I think that it is shortsighted as I am now likely to visit the site LESS than I did before as I will simply forget to go. I cannot fathom Twitter’s reasoning for shutting down the RSS feed.

All of this is somewhat irrelevant. I have no control over these feeds and so have to accept that they are gone but it does make me want to take a long hard look at the other RSS feeds I rely on to see if I should be making other plans. It also makes me realise just how little control I have over what goes on online, which is much more scary than my loss of daily Dilbert cartoons.