Unlike MG Siegler I don’t believe RSS is dead and as a matter of fact I‘m no fan of his eulogies. When I read his yet another attempt to call RSS dead I knew something was wrong with the data but wasn’t able to pin point it exactly.
My initial reaction was Facebook and Twitter are obviously more viral than RSS, you will undoubtedly get more hits from these sources. The second point was that RSS never made it main stream, it has always been one of those tech enthusiast’s thing. But then it hit me when I deleted TechCrunch from my RSS subscription list (yes, there’s a RSS killed TechCrunch joke here) that while Twitter and Facebook are far more viral, partial feeds (or lack thereof) plays a crucial role.
On twitter and Facebook one usually has just the headline with a snippet or comment at most with the link, couple this to the outreach of both these networks and link-bait headlines proclaiming technologies dead people will click to read. This translates into the spike in numbers that MG Siegler sees.
Coming to RSS, TechCrunch – the parent blog has full post RSS, I don’t need to go to the website to read the article. I believe this is a reason why people don’t go to the website or are referred to the website via feed readers. Not to say that feed readers would over take Twitter and Facebook if TechCrunch switched but that would certainly change the top 10 in my opinion.
I also believe TechCrunch’s desperation to claim technologies (especially RSS) dead is getting a tad bit annoying, as a blogger I get the link bait tactic though, probably why RSS killed TechCrunch for me. Techmeme’s Firehose account filters their posts for me and if I’m correct, RSS is integral to Techmeme.