RSS Feeds Live On

If I want to follow a website, I subscribe to their RSS feed with my RSS reader. This lets me easily track which articles I’ve read, sync that read status across devices and have a consistent reading experience regardless of the site.

If you aren’t a power user and have never heard of RSS, you’d be forgiven. You see, when I first started following blogs about 5 years ago, RSS was heartily promoted by most sites as a way to subscribe. Since then, with the ubiquity of Facebook and Twitter, prominent RSS links have often gone away.

Fortunately, even if no link is provided, most blogging engines still publish an RSS feed by default. Any blog powered by WordPress, for example, will have a feed provided at a default path of /feed/, unless the site owner has explicitly disabled it.

As long as RSS feeds continue to be published, I’m OK with the status quo of many sites not advertising it. At this point, the market has decided that RSS won’t be a mass-market success as a consumer-facing feature1 — it’s just too fiddly for the average user — but the power users out there that love it, like myself, can continue to use it at no cost to the site owner.

However, on this site, there’s a link to the RSS feed in the sidebar, prominently visible. RSS feeds live on.

  1. Of course, as a backbone format, RSS isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. ↩︎