inessential by Brent Simmons

Matt Haughey gives in

Matt Haughey: “I don’t keep track of post titles, I don’t think the syndication file is all that useful without HTML, and I’ve never personally found much use for a RSS reader. That all changed when a friend said she wasn’t reading my site anymore, or any sites for that matter that didn’t carry RSS feeds.”

Brent’s Law of Weblogs: If you’re not syndicating, you’re not publishing.

This law is descriptive, not prescriptive.

RSS, or something like it, was inevitable. I used to read a couple dozen sites regularly—now I read about a hundred sites. Far more than I could ever follow in my browser. And I do actually visit the sites I subscribe to: when there’s something interesting in their feed, and it links back to the site, I go to the site.

Traffic patterns are changing, definitely. But RSS is a chance for webloggers to reach an even wider audience. It doesn’t mean that the HTML version of one’s site is now irrelevant—in fact, because of RSS and newsreaders I now visit lots of sites I never used to visit.