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    • grayrest

      The various news channels I track have recently been on a nostalgia kick for RSS. Lots of votes on HN and I'm getting follow up thoughts from people on Twitter:

      Google’s decision to kill Google Reader was a turning point in enabling media to be manipulated by misinformation campaigns. The difference between individuals choosing the feeds they read & companies doing it for you affects all other forms of media.

      I generally agree with Anil, though I wouldn't go as far as "turning point". I see Reader as being very influential among people who made the news and/or made the submissions to the news aggregators and I'd mark its demise as the end of the RSS/Blogosphere era in online influence. I was, however, a very heavy user of Reader (around 900 items/day) so my perception might be warped.

      Opinions? Top posts on HN can be pretty influential so is RSS on the way back?

    • yaypie

      I'm not so sure.

      I was a heavy Google Reader user too, and my memory of its demise is that replacements started popping up almost as soon as the shutdown was announced. Heavy Google Reader users like the media makers Anil mentions migrated to replacement services like Feedbin. The loss of Reader was an inconvenience, but I don't think it's what killed the blogosphere. And media misinformation was widespread and effective long before Reader was even born, much less dead.

      I think Twitter and Facebook (but especially Twitter) killed the blogosphere, and I think it would have happened even if Reader had lived. The change was already well underway before Reader died in 2013.

      I was a heavy blogger and blog reader for over a decade before Twitter, but by 2012 my blog output had slowed to a crawl because I was saying most of the things I had to say on Twitter. I even joked about it on Twitter at the time. As more and more others did the same, Twitter became my primary source for the kinds of information I used to get from blogs.

      By the time Google Reader actually died, many of the other bloggers I had been reading for years had also stopped blogging and started tweeting instead. Even though I had migrated to Feedbin, many of my feeds dried up.

      Is RSS itself going to make a comeback? I doubt it. There's a bit of a backlash against algorithmic feeds right now because people are starting to feel like they don't have a choice in the matter and they want more control, but these things rarely result in the revival of old ideas.

      More likely we'll see a gradual erosion of anti-algorithmic feed sentiment coupled with some new ideas and services that either help placate the die-hard algorithm haters or give them enough control that they're able to make algorithmic feeds work to their benefit.

    • grayrest

      Is RSS itself going to make a comeback? I doubt it

      I've been surprised by the rise of Medium. To me it feels like a walled garden version of the blogosphere. I'll have to look up how they handled their growth.

    • Chris

      I know a few people from Medium and I think about their story daily as we work to get Cake off the ground. Medium has a beautiful design and they handle topics similar to the way we handle them.

      I think about Medium as social blogging. You blog there because you get more readers than you do on your own blog, unless you are one of the big-time bloggers who can generate traffic on your own.

      I spent an hour with Evan Hansen when he was there. He had been editor in chief of Wired for 8 years before joining Medium. He said they had 37 people on their content acquisition team who recruited interesting writers. I asked how they got Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He said they knew The White House had a PR department and things to say, so they knocked on their door and asked.

      The way they paid for that huge team in New York was Evan Williams founded Twitter so he had major cred with the VCs. Also, with that big content acquisition team, they drew lots of readers. Writers was much tougher, because it's a hard thing to write a weighty Medium post.

    • Vilen

      When Google Reader was shutting down, I simply imported my feeds into Feedly and everything went back to normal. I then used Reeder for Mac to further customize my reading experience, while Feedly handled the RSS side of things. Back then my highly curated feed was the primary source of personalized news. Every day I looked forward to skim through every single article and mark them all as read.

      Then Flipboard and Medium came on the scene and offered an "algorithmically curated" feed. All I had to do was to occasionally refine my interests instead of managing subscriptions. It offered endless reading material, but at the same time completely removed any sense of completion. There was nothing to "mark as read" and brought a big feeling of missing out on something that was just below the fold...

      Fast forward another couple of years and Apple News introduced personalized news directly into the iOS. Initially I was skeptical that it would replace my Flipboad and Medium reading sessions, but I was wrong. It completely took over them. Apple News delivered great articles from good publications, all based on my interests. However, it did miss smaller bloggers and publishers but I could find most of them on Medium. So the combination of Apple News and Medium became my "new RSS".

    • Chris

      That's been my experience too. Apple News provides serendipity, which I really like.

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