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Bloglines is dead, but RSS lives

Clipart - RSS symbol on a coffin
Image courtesy of DaPino

Bloglines recently announced that it will be ending its web-based RSS reader service on Oct. 1. Update: Bloglines is extending its service to officially end on November 1.  Update: Bloglines isn't going away after all.

Luckily, several alternatives are available if you depend on an RSS reader for news and current awareness (recommendations available from Swiss Army Librarian, The Ides, librarian.net). I say "if you depend on an RSS reader" because the demise of Bloglines is one more signal of a change in the way we consume information. RSS readers are still a valuable tool for monitoring information from many sources, but they have competition from other channels.

Those "other channels" now include social media. One rationale offered for shuttering Bloglines is that many people find their news through Twitter and Facebook. They may get links to important articles from other people in their social network, or they may follow news providers to get an up-to-the-minute stream of headlines and links.

The movement toward social tools (and away from RSS readers), and now the imminent death of Bloglines, has prompted some to argue that RSS is dead (or dying, and RSS readers along with it). Others argue that RSS technology powers most social tools, and that plenty of people still depend on RSS readers to organize and keep up on all the news from a vast number of sources. To me it seems like RSS readers are power tools for the people who sift through all the headlines to find the few that are worth posting on Facebook or Twitter.

Could you live without your RSS reader, or is RSS dead to you? Do you get all the news that matters from Facebook or other social networks? Tell us how you manage your day-to-day information consumption in the comments!

Comments

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Can't live w/o RSS feeds in Google Reader and iGoogle home page that holds the calendar & personal email. FB can only do so much.

@Mary -- agreed. Google Reader is still working for me in a big way!

I use an app on my iPad called Pulse for my RSS feeds. I access it every morning.

I've been using Blogines for years. In fact, it's how I read this post. *sigh* I guess I'll have to find another service, because RSS certainly isn't dead.

I was saddened too when I saw the notice on Bloglines. They've extended shutting down service until Nov 1st instead of Oct 1st.
I've been trying out Netvibes and am enjoying it. I do a lot of personalization on my iGoogle start page, but haven't really taken a liking to Google Reader just yet.

Jody, thanks for letting us know about the new end date for Bloglines, and good luck testing and choosing a new RSS reader!

I made the switch from Bloglines to Google Reader at least 3 years ago and never looked back. Having my feeds available from any computer, smart phone or gadget (like an iPad) is a real selling point for me. I don't think a standalone client reader would work for me.

Kinda good news. Bloglines will NOT close down. "Ask.com will maintain the current Bloglines service as-is until at least December 1, 2010 after which the service will transition wholly to MerchantCircle."
I was all set to use Netvibes, but I think I can handle both for now.

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