At the beginning of the month I deleted over 300 unread posts from Google Reader after three days abroad. And then never logged on again. I figured that if news is important it will get to me somehow, and I wanted to spend less time reading stuff online and get faster access to the essential instead.
I now trust my contacts on Twitter and Facebook to inform me – when I want to be informed – on what matters most to me.
What I appreciate the most about Twitter and Facebook is that I don't have to constantly be connected, I can dive in every now and then, go with the flow, and then get out when I want or need to. If I am away for an hour or a week I don't feel that I have to catch up with everything that has been posted in my absence. This is very liberating and a world away from trying to keep up with RSS, something that now feels like swimming against the current most of the time.
I have just read that I am not alone in moving away from RSS to instant streams. Steve Rubel (that I used to read via RSS and now I follow on Twitter) argues that RSS is fading (and never really peaked), and even Dave Winer (that some consider 'the father of RSS') acknowledges that Google Reader is wrong because it views RSS as email.
Winer's criticism resonates with me, because I am now regarding email as mostly for professional use. Even my personal inbox is full of e-tickets, receipts, delivery slips, online check-ins, and messages from the bloke that fit my kitchen cupboard door the wrong way.