RSS’ ‘tipping point’

RSS’ ‘tipping point': After being off-line a couple of days, I used to be overwhelmed by all those backed-up posts to read. Now I let the news flow by and I’m less stressed. Anyway, somewhere in that flow, I read Dave Winer’s post on the RSS “tipping point.”


“….the tipping point for RSS…was the adoption of the format by the New York Times in 2002. The publishing industry, unlike the tech industry, didn’t feel threatened, apparently, by a thriving standard, so after the Times went first, they all just followed, compatibly, without reinventing, without gratuitous incompatiblity, without excuses, they just did it.”

On a personal note, that action by the New York Times was the tipping point in making me finally figure out how to use an RSS newsreader. I continue to be amazed at how few real-world people I know use an RSS newsreader. I’ve given up trying to “will them” into using one. All I say now, is: “When you grasp what you can do with an RSS news reader, it’s like that ah-ha moment you had when you first learned about the Internet.”

(rexblog flashback: links to some “how-to set up an RSS news reader” help.)

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Rex Hammock

Founder/ceo of Hammock Inc., the customer media and content company based in Nashville, Tenn. Creator of and head-helper at

  • Danny

    Hmm, NYT adoption was certainly a landmark, but tipping point? It seems a little different from a non-US perspective. As to RSS coming from the publishing industry – doesn’t sound unreasonable, the origins were the *online* publishing industry (in the form of Netscape, well before 2002). O’Reilly also gave RSS a lot of credibility amongst traditional publishers early on.