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RSS Readers: What Do You Use (if you do)?

RSS iconDespite the fact that the ProfHacker RSS feed at the Chronicle is, shall we say, less than desirable [but we can't do anything about it], ProfHacker is a huge fan of using RSS feeds to increase productivity.

Mark has discussed Hacking Your Library’s Catalog [Using] SMS and RSS, it’s part of Amy’s methods for managing multiple class blogs, guest author Matt Thomas uses RSS for Managing Twitter Favorites, guest author Lincoln Mullen uses RSS for Keeping Up With Journals, and I know at least one post later this week will discuss RSS in relation to the job market.

But that’s not all! In September 2009, Jason wrote a simple, informative, and quite popular post on RSS itself: Keeping Up Online: an Intro to RSS. In Jason’s post, he (rightly) notes that in order to read RSS feeds, you need a feed reader (or a “news aggregator”), of which there are many options. One of those options is Google Reader, which Amy has previously written about. But what prompted this post is the recent news that Bloglines will shut down as of October 1st.

Bloglines is (was) a very popular web-based news aggregator; I vividly remember when it first burst onto the scene, and then just how many of my friends used it—a fact I was reminded of when the shutdown was announced and those same friends lamented its passing. While the end of Bloglines is itself interesting and warrants a post soliciting user opinions as to RSS readers to replace it in one’s workflow, also interesting is the statement that “RSS aggregator usage has slowed significantly, and Bloglines isn’t the only service to feel the impact.. The writing is on the wall.” That writing, one presumes, is a note that RSS is Dead.

So that brings to mind two questions:

  • Do you think RSS is dead? Or, more to the point, how do you use RSS and has that use changed with the advent of [insert other system or service]? Personally, while I still follow a couple hundred blogs in Google Reader, I follow 600+ people on Twitter, and quite frankly there’s very little that I find in my reader that I haven’t already heard via Twitter.
  • If you use an RSS reader, what RSS reader or news aggregator do you use? I used to use the Sage add-on for Firefox, but a couple years ago switched over to Google Reader. I admit that I don’t even have a feed reader on my Droid, and I use my smartphone a lot.

How about you? Let’s share in the comments, shall we?

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user Rafa[EU]]

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