RSS War! (As Fought On Twitter, Naturally)
For 99 percent of you, the following will be way too insidery. But that’s part of what makes TechCrunch great, posting about fights about basically nothing. It’s sort of like Seinfeld, it’s just about the characters. We’ve gotten too far away from that under our new corporate parent in my opinion, so it’s time to jump back into the bullshit and fully embrace it in the new year.
This evening I was just minding my own business and doing what I like to do from time to time, look over data. In particular, I was looking over the 2010 TechCrunch data, because we had earlier posted some data given to us by WordPress.com (which hosts TechCrunch) that seemed a bit odd. Namely, Facebook was nowhere to be found as a top referrer to TechCrunch. That’s weird because as we’re all well aware by now, Facebook was the most visited site in the U.S. in 2010.
Anyway, looking at our Google Reader data, I noticed that Facebook was actually (unsurprisingly) a huge source of traffic for TechCrunch. But I noticed something else interesting too: Google Reader had taken a big hit in that regard when compared to 2009. In other words, the most popular feed reader seemed to take a big dip among TechCrunch readers. In fighting words, RSS is dead.
What followed was a war of words about the state of RSS, the state of TechCrunch, the state of AOL, Rackspace, Twitter, the open web, Quora, and even… Sweden.
To be fair, I did kick things off a bit earlier in the day by posting a quick thought about the state of RSS on my blog based on a Dave Winer post earlier in the day. And Winer quickly responded to that. Then started to spiral out of control… (as has happened before).
This will not be over quick. You will not enjoy this.