What’s holding RSS back, asks Rubel, the answer is simple: R S and S. Nobody outside of a minority group of self-described geeks will use an RSS client or online reader. I know our numbers and I know what Bloglines and Google Reader do in terms of daily users. It’s no more than half a million users who are on these apps with any regularity. Don’t get me wrong, this is an important half a million users because they are the tip of the spear for new media models, the innovators that have shown a path for a new interaction model with online media, but mass market they are not.
Go to Newsgator.com and you will see that we minimize RSS and focus on what people are doing and why it matters. RSS is plumbing, widgets, social computing and other applications are the things that people interact with.
Rubel points out a very important point for the future, the way content owners and publishers use their newsfeed will determine winners and losers in the future media market. Syndication of content and aggregation are massively empowered with RSS technologies and entities like the AP are the big losers here. You may never use an RSS application but you will certainly be relying on RSS infrastructure in the future even if you are oblivious to it.
This larger promise still holds and as the technologies become more invisible the newsfeed could even one day subsume RSS.