Recently a developer moved their website over from a blog-type site to a static site with no blog. I know this because their RSS feed stopped working, and stopped giving me a feed of what was new with their site. I lamented about this on Mastodon:

Depressing to notice another blog moved to a static github page with no RSS feed (and no blog). Ah well. Developers will eventually make it so RSS is no longer a thing.

I got this reply from

@craigmaloney didn't that happen already due to google, or has rss managed to plod on?
I'll admit, I haven't use rss for a long time

I’ll admit that today wasn’t the best day for me to respond to things (I woke up crabby and things progressed from there) but the response that Google had somehow killed off RSS resonated with me. Naturally RSS as a protocol hadn’t gone anywhere (and judging from the other responses that I received there were plenty of folks who wanted to reiterate this fact, but that’s another post for another time). What got my attention was the assertion that Google had somehow dictated that RSS was no longer a thing when they shuttered Google Reader. It got me thinking how a lot of developers have ceded a lot of control to Google to make these decisions. RSS the protocol was still there but Google shuttering arguably the largest consumer of RSS feeds sent a signal to developers that RSS was no longer something worth considering. It was as though Google’s action had turned what was perfectly fine into a pariah and anathema.

I’m not one to take kindly when someone tells me I can’t do something that I was perfectly capable of doing beforehand, so this mindset that Google deciding to shutter a product meant that the protocol was dead doesn’t sit well with me. It’s akin to someone saying that LP records were now a thing and that CDs and digital music were no longer desirable. That’s fine for you, notional person, but I’m quite content to buy CDs and listen to digital music, thank-you-very-much.


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