So about all this RSS vs. Feeds naming brouhaha, what can I say?

I love RSS.  I've been banging on about RSS like a crazy man for last two and half yearsBut emotions have no place in this debate.  When I first heard about the IE team considering calling their new syndication feature 'web feeds' I have to admit my heart sunk just a little.  I love RSS - I'm not exaggerating...I actually have an emotional attachment to the brand - and that's the problem.

I thought I'd sleep on it - read a few opinions, see where they took me (arguments for and against are compiled below).  My conclusion is this: the arguments for the RSS name are emotionally driven and its supporters are emotionally attached to the brand to the point that they've lost sight of the end goal.

If you really love RSS and you want to give it the best possible chance of it being used be the majority - not a minority - of web users, we have to use a term that makes sense to non-geeks.  RSS is not that term.

For 'RSS', against 'Feeds' For 'Feeds', against 'RSS'
We use MP3 players, CD players and DVD players.  Let's call RSS what its is.


We use feed readers - these feed readers use formats other than RSS.

Browsers are not called HTML viewers.  We use email not a ISAPI/SMPT.

RSS is the winning format RSS is not the only format: we have Atom, RDF, etc
Usual Microsoft - embrace and extend... Firefox and Opera browsers call them live bookmarks, not  RSS.

Google news provides news 'feeds', via RSS and Atom.

Yahoo and Bloglines call them Feeds. 

Everyone knows it as RSS.  Why dumb things down for users?

If RSS is so popular, why does it need to be fixed? If it's too complicated, why is it so popular?


Less than 10% of web users know what RSS is.  Those that know what RSS is today won't un-know it by calling them 'Feeds'.

'Feed' is an easier term to understand - more descriptive.

I'll still use the RSS word, unless I'm the company of my non-geek friends.

But I love RSS!!!  I love the little orange logo!


So do I.  But that's not a good enough reason not to make syndication even easier.

RSS isn't going away, it is becoming invisible to the user, that's all.

The following posts make the arguments above: