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Twitter v. RSS - Who Cares? It's the Syndication, Stupid!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/7/09 (1:08pm)

RSS Logo It's only on weekends and public holidays that I catch up with my readings.

Anyway, I had a look at yet another post on the Twitter v. RSS conundrum. Here are a couple of others (1, 2) that I've read in the past couple of days.

I guess initially my reaction was, if you're depending on Twitter as your aggregator, you're in trouble because it pretty much sucks for that purpose. I mean, I'd sooner try to navigate the credits as they stream by of a feature film.

But that was only my initial reaction. From a practical standpoint, if a significant portion of your potential audience is going somewhere, then whether it sucks or not really doesn't matter.

The whole purpose of our current approach to the web is, to borrow a phrase, 'Write once, read many'. The number of outlets through which we're able to deliver our content -- free of redundancy or duplication of our efforts -- is a measure of success in this digital survival of the fittest.

The question then should never be whether a particular tool sucks but whether the content we're providing can fit into the framework. In other words, it's all about syndication.*

The moment this brilliant conclusion dawned on me, I had a look at Drupal's Twitter Module and opened an account on TwitterFeed. So yes, I've drunk the Koolaide.


*Note: happily enough, syndication works both ways. We syndicate our own content and then turn around and reuse the content of others. So even Twitter may suck less depending on how we access it, whether directly or through some value-added intermediary.