Why is RSS taking so long to reach big time mainstream adoption?

A lot of blame can be placed on the tools providers.  The business models have some headroom before RSS is required in the publishing mix.  And the format itself has some inherent awkwardness. 

These are obvious to those of us watching the evolution of RSS every day, but I think there are some other important issues that must be addressed somehow:
  • Maybe the user has too much control.  What kind of people want to take responsibility for managing high volumes of incoming data?  I like seeing new mail in my inbox because someone wants to contact me.  I don't like seeing unread items, though, because that feels like work.
  • More better filters, please.  Where's the PageRank equivilent for ranking items of interest from the RSS cloud?
  • The data isn't pretty.  RSS can be about so much more than headlines.
  • Its social power isn't obvious yet.  Email, IM, SMS and blogging all have specific and tangible social implications.  How will I explain to my mother that RSS can help her connect with people in new ways?
Or maybe it's all a bunch of hoo-ha, and RSS will just fade into oblivion.

Tags:  rss, design


Re: Why is RSS taking so long to reach big time mainstream adoption?
by Anonymous on Sun 12 Feb 2006 10:26 AM EST

I'd say (as seen from France): lack of on line tutorials (at the moment, rss feels like "build your own bulgarian car at home", no puns intended for Bulgarians) - feeds failures and broken links - the awfull code jargon you fall upon when you click on "subscribe to this feed" (omygod, which line do I have to cut and paste?). Rss developpers and aggregators are going too fast, without giving a thought to users training and awareness of the technology. My way to brief my mum on RSS. "You remember those Wall street guys with stocks price flowing at the bottom of their screen? That's what it is, for news or new items from blogs or websites your like" She got the picture.


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Why is RSS taking so long to reach big time mainstream adoption?