productivity technology

The long tail power of RSS feeds

Abandoning the entire idea of the RSS-inbox model because of inbox overload is like boycotting an all-you-can-eat buffet forever because you once ate too much there.

Mario Ament wrote a great blog post about a problem we all know. You start with one (remember the days?) blog post in your shiny new RSS-reader and before you know *BOEM* … 215 feeds which all post around 10 feeds a day. Making 2150 articles to scroll trough each day. You successfully installed a productivity killer.

Without RSS readers, the long tail would be cut off. The rich would get richer: only the big-name sites get regular readership without RSS, so the smaller sites would only get scraps of occasional Twitter links from the few people who remember to check them regularly, and that number would dwindle.

The long tail is why RSS is my favorite news tool. When a new US president gets elected or when Apple launches a new hipster toy, I’m sure my Twitter feed will let me know. But when Marco or Thomas or others write yet another great blog post, RSS gives them a platform.