The web rediscovers the value of RSS

Ever since the announcement of Google Reader's shutdown I started to notice something around the web, a trend of sorts.

Amid the discussions about successors to Google Reader and frankly idiotic proclamations about the demise of RSS, I saw that RSS buttons were given a more prominent placement on sites again. Often I was greeted by a popover or sidebar badge that not only explained how to get notified about new content through Twitter or email newsletters, but also told me that there's a working RSS feed if I want to subscribe. Sometimes I was told plainly that just because Google Reader was going the way of the dodo, RSS wasn't about to stop working, usually followed by links to articles explaining how to add RSS feeds to popular browsers or email applications. (I noticed similar messages and announcements on a smaller scale when FeedBurner started acting up a few months ago, and many sites started to jump ship.)

Marco Arment wrote a good—albeit a bit over the top—article about what RSS has to offer in a world where companies like Google, Facebook and increasingly Twitter are trying to lock users into their version of the web; an open, decentralised solution for spreading information that isn't owned or controlled by one person or company.

It seems as if Google's axing of Google Reader reminded website owners and users of this fact, and that's a good thing.

Alex Hoffmann @mangochutney