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Reading Rainbow of RSS!

Back in the "old days", before these new fangled sites like Facebook and Google+, people maintained a social network of blogs. Everyone had their own site, and they would update them with pics, short updates, and yes, fully written blog entries with more than 140 characters. In order to not go crazy checking dozens of links every morning we all needed a way to get notified whenever someone posted something new. The most common tool for this was RSS. Using an RSS reader, you would subscribe to people's blogs, and then you only had to keep your reader tool running to get notifications when something new was posted. Plus, many news sites, both mainstream and tech focused, used RSS to publish their content to the world. I became an RSS junkie and have my Google Reader notifier installed on every device I can.

Things change though, and recently as I was perusing my Google Reader list I was reminded about how many sites publish their articles automatically to Twitter, Facebook, and often to G+. A big tech news site just announced that if you "circle" them in G+, they'll publish all their stories there as well as Twitter and Facebook. Since you can customize your notifications in most of these tools, you could get instant updates when stories are posted to your networks.

In a conversation with a friend of mine we also talked about how he uses Twitter almost the same way I use RSS, to get notified of new postings on news sites. I realized, that in fact I had probably been using Twitter in much the same way. I mostly follow organizations on it, and so I usually just see news stories, not personal posts.

So that got me thinking, has RSS passed it's prime? Many of the big web based RSS sites like bloglines have gone the way of the dodo, and even services like Google Reader aren't getting the love that they used to. So I put the question to a larger audience, what do you use? Are you still hanging on to RSS like me?

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