Discussion broke across the net on Thursday morning that RSS and, with it, Google Reader was returning.

RSS, by which sites deliver content to users, never went anywhere, and no, Google Reader is not returning. 

But Google did make a strong statement that RSS is an integral way, along with email and notifications, for people to keep up with their favorite sites, including legal publications and blogs – as well as to keep the web a place for open publishing.

Google’s Android version of Chrome is going to have a RSS feature enabling users to follow sites that support RSS.  

This is not a RSS reader. A tab page will show you updates from the sites you have selected to follow. Not necessarily easy to use when following more than a small number of sites. 

Google’s product manager for Google Chrome told Techcruch’s Frederic Lardinois:

“Today, people have many ways to keep up with their favorite websites, including subscribing to mailing lists, notifications and RSS. It’s a lot for any one person to manage, so we’re exploring how to simplify the experience of getting the latest and greatest from your favorite sites directly in Chrome, building on the open RSS web standard. Our vision is to help people build a direct connection with their favorite publishers and creators on the web.”

In a stronger statement about the importance of RSS for publishers and readers, Lardinois reports that a Google spokesperson told him that the way the company has implemented this is to have Google crawl RSS feeds “more frequently to ensure Chrome will be able to deliver the latest and greatest content to users in the Following section on the New Tab page.”

Though some may be believe the days of Camelot for RSS are over, I use RSS everyday. 

One, in getting my news and commentary and two, via a RSS reader (Feedly). 

I’d be in serious trouble without RSS. I suspect that’s the case for serious bloggers and news reporters. 

I’m right with Lardinois,

“[RSS] still the easiest way to get timely updates from your favorite sites (though some may not offer feeds anymore) without any recommendation algorithms getting in your way.


I think a lot of people will be glad to see that Google is bringing it back as a core feature of its browser. If you prefer an open web, RSS, for all its occasional clumsiness, is the way to go.

Still an experiment, but unquestionably a strong statement from Google in favor of RSS and open publishing (think blogs). Google is looking for ongoing feedback from bloggers and other publishers, as it “aims to build “deeper engagement between users and web publishers in Chrome.” 

Deeper engagement between bloggers/publishers. A strong statement.