Kevin has brought up some good points over on his blog about RSS and Web Design. Personally, I never have thought about it as stripping the design and just looking at the text. My main reason for firing up my RSS reader everyday is for ease of use and connivence. I don’t think that I ready many blogs (37) on a daily basis, but there are enough that I don’t want to check them all every day to see what is new and what isn’t. So, for me it is about saving myself a little time each day.
I have been using my RSS reader for around 3 months now and I can’t imagine going back to the old way of viewing blogs. Recently, my friend Brad has hacked the Xanga RSS so that I can now use NNW to view my news. I am still partial to Shrook, but NNW is quite good as well.
Like I said earlier, it all comes down to connivence. I can subscribe to the news, or whatever else I want to. Sites like Wired, Slashdot, and Yahoo! all have RSS feeds of their news. This lets you cut through sloppy design, like in the case of Slashdot (IMO), and get the content that you are interested in. Then, if you are inclined to comment or provide feedback on the topic you can do so at your leisure.
So, I am a closet blog and news reader and I read every post of the people that I know. I just don’t comment all of the time, unless I feel moved to do so as should be the case. I won’t explain my stance on commenting, I’ll save that for another post.
Personally, I don’t want to go back to the old way of doing this task. I would constantly get lost in the Xanga Subscription Browser, missing entries that I wanted to read and then, on top of that, there were those that used non-Xanga sites to blog. It was just a mess to read them all at once and to figure out who updated and who didn’t. RSS solved all of that for me.
I sympathize with those that get offended by not having users see their site design, but I feel that the design is there to aid the content, not the other way around. The words are what people are interested in (most of the time) and if there is a way for me to get those words conveniently and with little hassle, I will take that route any day.
Final thought about RSS: With RSS life is simple and to the point as defined by the user.