RSS vs. Email - The War

March 5, 2007   

There's a war between RSS and Email, and I'm not sure which is winning me over. Most of the digital information I consume, I consume via my RSS reader. However, as I looked through my email inbox today, I wondered why I still receive a daily digest from

Frankly, it could be because I still love digests, tables of contents, summaries, etc, and I still reward the good layout and design of that information. Part of this stems from inclinations as my love of advertising, or the "if you don't tell me what's good, how will I know" syndrome many of us have. RSS requires that you at least scan each headline with as much interest as the next, and that's monotonous, boring, and against everything else we do. Everything else in life comes at us with visual cues we're preconditioned to incorporate in our reactions.

How could this be "fixed" within RSS readers? If there was a Digg module on my RSS reader it may be helpful: that way I could see which posts had been picked up by the broader community. Feedburner could also incorporate a community reaction gage on their feeds (much like what I propose in the comments section of this Fred Wilson post). If I could see which articles were getting clicked on the most, it would be a great way of sorting my list of stuff to read.

Just some ideas... but RSS could really learn something from Email. It's still the best way to see what's on!

Salon Screenshot

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