Did RSS readers die, too?

Tyler HurstBlog4 Comments

There is no substitute in the digital or even analog world for an item, service or software that does one thing very well. From iPods to Garmin watches and Simplenote to Photo Booth, anything designed for one particular purpose is usually numerous times better than something designed for many.

Take my daily assortment of most-used applications, like Hootsuite, Google Reader, Apple Mail and Mars Edit. Each of those was made to handle one thing and one thing only (Twitter, RSS feeds, email and blogging). I can’t tweet send and receive tweets from Google Reader, nor can I send email from Mars Edit. I don’t have the distractions of Twitter in Apple Mail, nor do I have to worry about composing my blog posts in Google Reader.

I've owned this knife since I was six. I haven't used it in ten years, but it has tools that would be helpful nearly every day.

When people try to combine these things, usually because they have somehow deemed this more efficient, it confounds me. Different uses require different tools. I recently found out that my screwdriver can substitute for a hammer in a pinch, but does that mean I’m going to give up my hammer?

Well-meaning people do these things all the time. They assume because they can work a keyboard, they can also write web copy. They mistake Microsoft Word as page layout software. Their attempts to simplify end up making their results crappy.

Let’s all do what we’re great at. Writers write, photographers take photos, managers manage and leaders lead. It’s okay to ask for help to do the other stuff.

No one expects you to be great at everything.

Tyler HurstDid RSS readers die, too?

4 Comments on “Did RSS readers die, too?”

  1. Chuck Reynolds

    No but blog comments did for the most part (except for this one).

    And actually you CAN tweet from Google Reader using “Send To” arrow at the bottom of each article – I use it quite often. You could also have your shared items tweeted via an RSS feed that G.Reader provides…

  2. jojo

    I think you brought up a good point. Most people nowadays since the latest tech available to masses, they can be good at something. i.e there is lots of bad design out there, because people think everyone can be a designer by using mac and adobe cs, etc. Nobody wants to buy music cd’s anymore because almost everyone is an aspiring musician with their little drum machine. So do you think this phenomenon of people wants to be great at everything because they feel the need to streamline and to become more effective due to the economy?

    1. tdhurst

      I don’t think it has anything to do with the economy, rather that the barrier to entry is so much lower than it ever used to be.

      While tech SHOULD make us more streamlined and able to do more with less, it really doesn’t seem that way.

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