How Do You Connect with Content?

I was listening to the latest This Week in Google today, fascinated by the conversation the panel was having about the recent changes to Google Reader. I was especially surprized when most of the panel said that they don’t use feed readers any more to get content delivered to them but instead rely on Twitter, Google+, and other social media to have good content surface to them.

As someone who still subscribes to blogs via RSS — and as a blogger — I’m wondering if I’m in the minority or if more people are relying on social networks to have interesting links come to them, rather than subscribing to specific sites.

Do you use an RSS reader? If so, which one? If not, how do you find content that interests you?

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Author:Jonathan F. Sullivan

Jonathan F. Sullivan is the director of catechetical services for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. You can follow him on Twitter @sullijo; he also blogs on catechetical topics at
  • Brad

    RSS feeds were (and are in many cases) great for content-creators and users.  I think we tend to forget that the average end-user just wants to get the information in a neat and clean manner.  From a content-creator standpoint RSS feeds allow us this great opportunity to easily feed out our content (blogs, etc.) across the web where it blends in nicely and is automatically updated (i.e. Daily Readings RSS, news).  Developers likewise can add rich automated updates to their sites for their visitors.  

    Then there is the average user . . . not a big attraction and I don’t see that changing.  They just want the information in a nice usable way.  I don’t see things like Reader going away and I like the tie in to Google+, but the average end-users are just confused how to make RSS work for them is what I’ve found.

  • Craig Berry

    I still use RSS feeds. I set everything up in Google Reader, but I use NewsRack on my Mac and Ipad/Iphone to do the actual reading.

  • Steve

    Don’t know what I’d do without my RSS reader. I subscribe to the content I want to see. Google + and twitter, etc. is way to much of a firehose for me.

  • Kyle

    Reading this from Google reader on my Android phone.

  • Joe Luedtke

    While the RSS reader may be more efficient, I think the This Week In Google panel is right.  Twitter is probably leading the way, with Google+ making in roads.  Just think of all the times you’ve heard on TV or seeing in ads, “Friend us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter”.  Home many times have you heard or seen an advertisement providing an organization’s RSS Feed?  They all have them, of course, but they’re not being promoted well.

  • Eric Gallagher

    I still use RSS to make sure I don’t miss anything on many sites (like Catholic Tech Talk!), but agree that I check Google+ first usually for the latest.

  • Matthew Warner

    RSS readers are great for the people who are regularly feeding content into the social web or if you have a focused or niche group of source content that you like to consume that would otherwise get lost in a news or twitter feed. 

    But for the average person, if social networks are doing their job well, then there shouldn’t be a need for checking RSS or news sites as much, because your social network will already be talking about them if the stories are THAT important. 

    But of course, that content has to enter the social conversation at some point. So for the time being there is still a need for at least some people to seek out the content first, and not just let it all come to them, and to set the balls rolling in their social network.

    I use google reader to keep up with my favorite stuff, but also to stumble upon new things that my social network probably won’t be talking about already.  Good convo!