Drop dead simple RSS update

Drop dead simple RSS update: (From the SeattlePI.com Buzzworthy blog) “Here’s another data point about RSS penetration: Downloads of SeattlePI.com feeds have increased twentyfold in the past year: from 759,399 in January 2005 to 15,503,595 in January 2006. Google Desktop is far and away the most active — if not actually the most popular — feed reader used by SeattlePI.com readers. Its penchant for aggressively finding, subscribing to and grabbing feeds helped it generate more than 12 million of last month’s nearly 16 million RSS downloads.”

I guess this proves Fred Wilson’s point about RSS having to be brain dead simple before it will gain broad acceptance. The Google Desktop (http://desktop.google.com/), like the Google personalized homepage (http://www.google.com/ig), uses RSS to display headlines only, but both are brain dead simple to understand — and if you’ve never used an RSS newsreader, perhaps they may be a good brand dead simple way to experience subscribing to content via RSS. On the other hand, the Google newsreader (http://www.google.com/reader/lens/) is a full-featured, honest-to-goodness newsreader, but is not very brain dead simple to use — at least for me — (and it even has a non-intuitive URL, why not lens.google.com or newsreader.google.com?)

I guess having a feed of merely headlines is better than nothing.

Update: Thanks for letting me know that reader.google.com and www.google.com/reader both work. Those are both brain-dead simple.

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  • James Prudente

    Actually, Rex, you can get there from both http://reader.google.com and http://google.com/reader as well. Not that you’d want to do that though 😉 I think the best thing they could do for it is dump it, and start over.