Is Twitter a Replacement for RSS?

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By now I assume everyone knows that Google Reader is scheduled for the chopping block in July. This is bad news for people like me who use Reader a lot. And by “a lot,” I mean it’s pretty much the primary tool I use during my working day. It comes in second to the app that allows me to write and publish blog posts, but only barely.

So fine, I’ll have to find a new RSS reader. And I understand that apparently using RSS to keep up with the web never really caught on. It joins dozens of other things that I love but that most of the world doesn’t.

Still, I have one question. Maybe someone in comments can provide an answer that actually makes sense. I hear over and over (and over and over) that Twitter has replaced RSS. And sure, in a way it has: I follow lots of people and they mostly post links to all their blog posts on Twitter.

But….don’t you miss a ton of stuff that way? I don’t follow Twitter every second of every day, which means lots of stuff just scrolls out of view and I never see it. The reason I use RSS is that I want to be able to scroll quickly through every post from a particular set of bloggers, and I want to be able to do it when I want to do it, not only in real-time when it happens to pop up in my Twitter feed.

So here’s my question: Am I missing something? Is Twitter really a replacement for RSS? It sure doesn’t seem like it to me.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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