RSS Readers Versus Twitter

Several colleagues have been twittering about how they work with the information flow from RSS and Twitter.  Doug states that he uses twitter and the power of the crowd to link to useful contentCharlie is struggling with RSS and Steve says RSS is a daily chore.

RSS Readers: My view


RSS readers offer me the only way I have of keeping up to date with blogs and announcements and I do find the information in the feeds useful.  I don’t feel I can go as far as Doug and rely only on links in twitter.  One reason is the way twitter works and the fact I miss things in the flow.  I think that providing you use RSS readers with the attitude that you will miss things and don’t have to read everything then its good.  So I treat it like a pool in a stream, it collects some of the water for a short period allowing you to wade through it when you can.

I find certain bloggers act as very good aggregators of information for me, the best example I can think of being Michael Sampson on collaboration.




Twitter : my view image

Twitter however is a waterfall, you can only watch it effectively for a period of time, if you need to walk away and do other things or focus then you lose that information, I very rarely go back into twitter to find things I missed.  Its great as a virtual water cooler, its not great to keep me up to date with information in the way Doug works as I have days when I may never see twitter, 2 days like that are coming up.


I use both.  I need to explore RSS tools which allow for better ranking of information (Attensa’s attention stream springs to mind).  For now though I’ll accept that I miss data which flows through the RSS pool and certainly miss data in the twitter waterfall.

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  1. I can certainly see the need for both RSS and Twitter/ . For me there is are issues of both time constraints and separation from the net. However, it does seem to be the case that if something important, such as the Eucalyptus annoucements, pops up then it persists in Twitter for a while and I am likely to encounter it.


  2. Nicely put, Stu. I think the velocity of the feeds in each channel is an important difference, especially when working with people in other time zones. I’m far less likely to miss a coworker’s blog post because my RSS Reader is “saving” it for me. However, when I awake each morning and log on, I’m less likely to troll through the last 8-10 hours of Twitter feeds, especially if I have a busy day ahead of me. I like your illustrations.

    – Chase


  3. forget rss feeds

    forget trying to hold on to anything, or go back and check or collect

    go into full, total flow, trusting your intuition to bring you the right thing at the right time

    then it becomes just like life



  4. @4 Gregory, thanks for your comment. I still find RSS useful. When disconnected its good to be able to read. Trains, flights, a lot of place where 3G connection on my datacard is not possible, thats where I find RSS useful. I also still feel RSS is part of the flow. You have a point that I now can’t leave go of RSS. But is that because of trusting my intuition, maybe, but maybe its because at present its the only trusted source of information aggregation that I have. Stu


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