RSS – The Black Leather Jacket of the Internet

Portent Staff Jan 5 2011

Among all the new trends for 2011 I’m reading about the imminent death of RSS. People have moved on to Twitter and Facebook. Really? Me thinks some prognosticators need to cool their jets. First, RSS was never popular to begin with. What did it reach, a 15% market share? Twitter probably got more users in the twenty minutes while Ashton Kutcher sat on Oprah’s couch. RSS was never cool…or is it? Maybe it’s always been cool? Let’s test.

  • The Matrix — Cool (unquestionable)
  • Neo — Cool
  • Black Leather Trench Coats — Cool
  • Goth-Industrial — Scary

People like all the cool things that stem from the punk, post-punk, goth and industrial music movements, but the closest that most of you will get is buying a black leather Fonzie jacket from JC Penny.

  • Facebook — Cool
  • Twitter — Cool
  • Social Media — Cool
  • Blogs — Still holding on
  • Curation — Hot
  • RSS — Scary

What gives? RSS is the ultimate curation tool. You get to select the blogs and authors you like. Your RSS software delivers stories right to your screen. The best part is that there is no hit and miss like you get scanning Twitter or Facebook.

I think you may be surprised by how easy and fun RSS is.

  1. Get a Google account. You probably already have one.
  2. Sign-in and go to GMail.
  3. At the top of the screen click on Google Reader.
  4. Print out the Google Reader Keyboard Shortcuts.
  5. Highlight J takes you to the next message and K takes you back one message.
  6. Go to a blog you like and click on the orange RSS icon. Click on any link that says Google. When you get to select between your Google home page and Google Reader, select Google reader.

Play with it.

  • Email yourself a story.
  • Share something with a comment.
  • Post a story to Twitter or Facebook.
  • Star a story.
  • Like a story.

You’ll soon wonder why you never tried RSS, then you’ll be one of the cool Internet kids hanging out in your virtual black leather jacket.