Call Me A Geek, I Want RSSCloud

September 8, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Content Strategy

So I’m going to go ahead and say it. I don’t care how bad Michael and Andy want me to feel for being excited about RSSCloud, I like it. I’m stoked about real-time blog updates and the effect it may have on bloggers, their communities and the overall conversation. And they’re not going to shame me into thinking otherwise. Here’s why.

RSS has been getting a lot of crap lately. People are saying that it’s dead, that blogs in general are dead, that RSS represents a poor man’s technology. And yes, there’s even that whole “WordPress hack attack” thing that’s been going on that WordPress needs to address. Fast. But just because I can’t have everything I want for Christmas, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be excited about the perfectly adorable puppy that’s wrapped and waiting for me under the tree.  Especially when this puppy comes spouting one important message: All the haters telling you that blogging is dead – they were wrong. Blogging’s not dead and it hasn’t been replaced by Twitter.

In fact, blogging’s more important than ever.

People want to believe that blogs are less important in the days of social media.  They want to believe that blogs are extinct. That they don’t need to worry about them because we have these great tools like Twitter and Facebook and Friendfeed that allow us to connect with people and pass around interesting information. And they’re right, we do have these tools. But if you’re trying to establish yourself as a leader, as an expert, as someone who is full of social proof, you need to be blogging. And anything that helps people connect with blogging is a good thing, even if the people who created it should be focusing on “bigger” things. I’m even pretty sure that these are all things Michael and Andy would agree with me on.

And that’s where my interest in RSSCloud comes from.

I love Twitter. I have a respectable 5,700+ Twitter followers through @lisabarone that I’ve enjoyed interacting with and leaning on when I needed it. But I don’t own Twitter. Neither do you. Twitter could be gone tomorrow and, with it, my 5,700+ followers. Unless I find a way to bring some of those connections over to my blog and Web site. Your blog is only the social tool you own. It’s your most direct line with your people and you need to treat it like your home base. Sure, build up those important social media connections off your island…but then find a way to help them follow you home. Creating a place where you have those conversations at home is what’s most important.

In time and with real adoption, RSSCloud can help you do that.  And that’s why I’m excited about it.

In case you missed it (it was a holiday weekend), Matt Mullenweg introduced RSSCloud to the world yesterday. It’s a simple way for your blog subscribers to opt in to be immediately notified when you update your blog. It takes away the hour or two waiting time attributed with most feedreaders. It makes blogging immediate. It helps bring people to you faster. It changes the type of conversations you can have through blogs and the notion that your RSS reader is filled with nothing but yesterday’s news.

I want a stable and secure WordPress just like everyone else. But I’m also interested in the possibilities through RSSCloud to strengthen my mothership. A tool that can help readers become more engaged with blogs. A way to let people know what’s happening sooner. To help people become more dialed in with their favorite reads instead of always being an hour late to the party.

One of the biggest complaints about blogs lately is that they’re old news. By the time people find out about what you said via their feedreader, they’ve already seen it tweeted 15 times. They’ve heard the conversation and don’t want to read about it again. RSSCloud allows for real-time communication through blogs and helps bloggers not only nurse the conversations happening off their site, but also to tend their own garden and to increase their own relevance. If Twitter has shown us anything it’s that people want real, in the moment conversations.  This gets blogs a step closer to that.

I know that Andy and Michael think that securing WordPress is more important than shiny new features. And they’re right, it absolutely is. But if I waited for everything to be perfect in order to find happiness…well, then I might just grow up to be as cold and bitter as Michael Gray.

Keep riding WordPress for leaving their software open to attack. You absolutely should. However, also take some time to read about RSSCloud. Because it’s actually pretty cool.

[Before you “remind” me, yes I now that, at the moment, RSSCloud is only recognized by Dave Winer’s River2 and other small RSS platforms like LazyFeed, but it still represents good things. And good things mean eventual Google adoption. And, you know, ads.]

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