Distilling the RSS war between Dave Winer and Techcrunch


We all get a little precious about our babies, why should Dave Winer be any different? But you have to think he was way too precious about RSS when he went on his twitter assault against the ‘death of RSS’ being called, right?.
Surely he knew this was a Techcrunch article he was going mental over? The Techcrunch and MG Siegler whose sole raison d’être after all is to drive traffic to their sites?
I’m not writing this to assault RSS or even defend Siegler. I appreciate RSS very much, especially when using Feedly as a front end. But I’m finding myself more and more reading articles shared through twitter and less and less through RSS. Which is kind of the point being made in the article he found so offensive. As for Siegler. He has a job to do. He does it very well. I’m not qualified to judge him ethically or morally.
I am however writing this, as someone who sometimes takes criticism of my product personally rather than constructively, to try and figure out what tips someone like Dave Winer over edge of reason in response to perceived criticism.
After consideration, and thinking of his response to a comment I left once on his blog, I can only think Winer is incapable of dealing with any form of criticism or he never got the memo about the business behaviour of commercial blog sites. To explain the extremity of his response, I can only think he must have just had a few wines when he found out about the piece. Others who know him better might have a better explanation.
After all, he was hardly in on the Techcrunch action was he?

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7 thoughts on “Distilling the RSS war between Dave Winer and Techcrunch

  1. Dave’s an interesting guy. I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done, but he is rather precious. He blocked me on twitter because apparently I RT’d something ‘negative and hurtful’ about him – although I couldn’t find it and he couldn’t remember it.

    I still respect the guy, but he does seem to take everything very personally.

  2. I tend not to get too excited about anything TechCrunch publishes – either OTT sensationalism pisses me off.

    However, I do agree with your point about reading more and more stories off Twitter than RSS. I think I’m pretty much the same.

    I do, also, still use RSS – through Google Reader on a PC and Reeder on my iPad – for sites that make my regular rotation of things I read daily.

    But for one off, or discussion centred reading during the day, that comes off Twitter.

    • Matthew, exactly. Siegler and Techcrunchs job is to drive views to get advertising – much like FTA TV. THis is why I take most of their posts with a grain of salt. You would’ve thought someone as “experienced” as Winer wouldn’t have allowed himself to be so easily trolled though 😉
      As for finding content. Yep, I use RSS through Feedly all the time, but am finding myself relying more and more on twitter – especially now Smartr has arrived on the iPhone

  3. I also tried to read through the TC-Dave_Winer dialog to find deeper meaning. I thought that maybe there’s some new thing in the world of RSS that would make it more useful for accessing the sort of content I want, but no, there wasn’t. It may power syndication on the web today, but the future of content is not syndication.

    Syndication is good for pulling down articles from newspapers into a single place for flicking through. It isn’t good for pulling down all the conversations / comments around those articles that are increasingly where the majority of the value is. If an interface doesn’t give me the full story plus the comments, it isn’t useful to me. Hence no RSS reader that I’ve tried has been useful.

    At least Twitter gives you some of the conversation at the same time.

  4. Twitter requires constant monitoring though, RSS just waits patiently for you to get back to it (or sometimes not so patiently, as those update numbers get intimidating after a few days).
    I use RSS for blogs (um… like yours, for example, I’m writing this response in Reeder for Mac right now) that I know I don’t want to miss but might not see in Twitter. News sites & professional high volume blog sites I skip on RSS unless I have a particular keen interest (like Ukes or ethics or Macs) – for these, like you say, Twitter is king.
    RSS isn’t dead yet.

    • Agree with that. RSS has great value, though I suggest you look at smartr for iPhone or Flipboard on the iPad to remove the requirement for ‘constant’ monitoring you describe.

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