A couple of years ago, when RSS became popular and all websites started having their feeds published I had this nice list of about 100 feeds I was following. First using Thundebird as an RSS client and later with Google Reader, since it allowed me to access my feeds anywhere, and those were good to read on the go.
Needless to say that following those feeds was more time consuming than I could afford, so I tried to skim through them on a weekly basis just to see what was going on, mostly on blogs and some news sites.
Since the beginning of 2010 I started using Twitter more and more as an RSS replacement. Mainly because it allows me to skim through all the information quicker and even if I don’t read all the tweets (in fact, I don’t even try) I know that if it is important it will be re-tweeted by some fellow I am following so I will catch one or two days later. Besides most of the sites offering RSS they also push the same stories into Twitter so it is indeed a fine replacement.
When I started this replacement I first started using Twitter.com as my client (I guess everybody does – right?) but I then migrated to Seesmic because the interface is less crowded and I can easily separate the main stream with the lists I have created. I can also use it to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Again I’d rather use a web app so that I can access it anywhere without worrying about setup or content replication.
But, my all time favorite Twitter client is Flipboard for iPad because of the way it deals with the stream, extending the feed information with the text lead or with some thumbnails it lets me browse without the need to open one link per tweet (because most tweets contain links). That way if I like what I see I just tap to extend the full content and read it through but if I don’t I just flip the page and keep on browsing.
So for me RSS is dead from the information consumer point of view (I doubt it was ever alive, I bet 90%+ of online users don’t know what it is anyway, even if Microsoft included RSS support on the dreadful IE7…). On the other hand, at work, we still use RSS a lot for web apps integration (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, SAPO Fotos, SAPO Vídeos, WordPress, etc) and it works like a charm.