I have about twice the number of Twitter followers as I do RSS subscribers.
RSS is an open standard built from the ground up to serve-up new content as it is released. It excells at delivering information and making it readable in a quick and efficient manner. Yet it is still, for the most part, confined to the realms of geekdom.
Despite the strengths of RSS, it hasn’t been adopted by the general public, while Twitter, a proprietary social networking site, has. It’s a bit harder to understand RSS over Twitter, and subscribing to feeds isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
People follow Twitter profiles that have no human operator, robots that just spit out headlines parsed from the RSS feed of a website. @CNETtv is an example of such a bot. 4,088 followers…and all of them are following them to recieve the same information that the RSS feed could provide.
People are dumping headlines from their favorite sites into their Twitter timelines, mixed all up with friends’ status updates and shared links. This stew of subscribed links, retweeted links, and other bits of information is many peoples’ inbox of what’s new and interesting online.
Twitter truly is the RSS reader for the masses. It’s a stream of trusted sites’s content and recommendations from friends all in one place.
And yet… A very large percentage of the links I tweet come from my RSS reader.