Twitter vs. RSS, the Early Results are In...

Twitter vs. RSSBack in November, I created a Twitter account as a social media experiment of sorts. At the time, I was most interested in Twitter as an RSS feed alternative. Would people follow me on Twitter instead of subscribing to my RSS feed?

It only took a few months for the number of people following me on Twitter to exceed the number of people subscribed to my RSS feed. Here are the totals this morning.

117 Twitter followers
104 RSS subscribers

I swear by my RSS feeds, but I've noted the hesitancy of the "average joe" in adopting this form of syndication. Twitter, on the other hand, seems to be more user friendly... less intimidating.

I have two questions for the readers here... 1) Do you use Twitter? 2) Do you use RSS?

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Comments (17 - click here to join in!)

David Pylyp

The RSS feeds are great in a reader, but the sign ups in Twitter are much higher.

I would also like to understand the variance.

David Pylyp

February 23, 2009 @ 12:08 PM


Keep in mind, if you check those followers, I wouldn't be surprised how many are spam bots who want you to follow them.

February 23, 2009 @ 12:19 PM

Toronto Mike

Yes, some people following you on Twitter are actually companies / pr machines who hope you'll return the favour and follow them.

I wouldn't classify these as spam bots, as they're likely not bots but human marketers.

Personally, I love my RSS feeds in my Google Reader and even follow Twitter via RSS.

February 23, 2009 @ 1:49 PM


Neither. I just browse along directly 'from the bookmarks'.
However I follow most current political entry feeds only as displayed from their political group aggregator pages. There used to also be an active GTA bloggers site, years back.

February 23, 2009 @ 2:04 PM


I just started using twitter.

I just starting using RRS Feeds.

Both seem to have great potential and I think I will continue to use them.

February 23, 2009 @ 2:13 PM


I've been hearing a lot about Twitter lately. It must be the new facebook.

I might have to check it out.

February 23, 2009 @ 2:13 PM


RSS - figure you have to be a Tween to Twitter

February 23, 2009 @ 2:27 PM

Mike from Lowville

I signed up on Twitter and somehow started following Brit Spears. Don't now how. She must not like me watching her because I'm off her list now. lol

RSS I've used in Vuze? I think?

February 23, 2009 @ 2:42 PM


No to both. I am old school. I just wish I still had a 2400bps modem.

Okay maybe not the last part.

February 23, 2009 @ 3:15 PM


I use RSS feeds, and have done for a couple of years; they help me view a lot of information in one place. I have steered clear of Twitter so far, but have heard good things! I'm worried that if i sign up I'll get sucked in...

February 23, 2009 @ 3:32 PM

Ajax Mike

I'm signed up for the RSS feed on my Rogers Yahoo Homepage, but frankly, I just read the webpage in it's usual format.

February 23, 2009 @ 4:31 PM


I'm not sure why you're even making this comparison, Twitter is a social network/microblogging service and RSS is for syndication of content.

There's no way that I would go to some site that's notorious for outages and scalability issues, register and then look you up and follow you just to get linked back to your blog - it makes no sense. That's what RSS is for. It's a standard that isn't tied to any one service.

Subscribing to RSS feeds is now so easy that my grandmother can do it (literally) - use Google Reader, or your browser's built-in support. I have "Toronto Mike's Blog" on my bookmarks toolbar and every now and then I check it for an update. If there's a new entry, then I visit the site.

To me, Twitter is basically the same thing as Facebook's "what are you doing right now" feature, with some tweaking. Why would I sign up for yet another service, one that is limited to 140 characters, or prone to server problems?

February 23, 2009 @ 5:10 PM

Toronto Mike

Daniel, you're right, but services like Twitterfeed have people using Twitter as an alternative to RSS.

Hence the comparison - it's about pushing the content to the interested.

I've upped my microblogging at Twitter b/c it's fun, but my original intent was to promote it as an alternative to RSS.

February 23, 2009 @ 5:15 PM


Yeah, I just think it's a poor alternative. Here's something that works just fine (RSS), it's a standard supported all over the place and it's essentially universal.

Twitter depends on one closed source company that still pretty much has no idea how to monetize their service (read: unstable), and it's restricted only to people using Twitter, obviously.

It just seems redundant to me: "Hey, RSS blows, I'm going to hook my RSS feed up to Twitter so that people can access my content in the trendiest, most roundabout and restrictive way possible". It's totally inefficient.

Wow I must really hate Twitter hahah....

February 23, 2009 @ 7:33 PM

Toronto Mike

Daniel my man, you're preaching to the choir.

I love da RSS. It's XML, dammit.

But, with Obama and Shaq and CNN pushing Twitter, people seem less intimidated.

February 23, 2009 @ 7:40 PM

Jason |

twitter was interesting and i'll maybe check it once or twice a week.

rss... i just don't feel like figuring it all out... even if it is 'that simple'

i don't like one generic stream of things...

you have a site with a decent, simple layout and you understand the importance of 'user friend;y' navigation-

you also seem to have your own personality so why make things dull and streamlined???

February 23, 2009 @ 9:10 PM


I just started using Twitter (2 days ago) and I'm getting some followers. I don't use RSS. Directly visiting blogs is still my fav since there's a personal touch that every blogger does to his website. That's missing in these social media sites like Twitter. Although Twitter can get addictive.

February 24, 2009 @ 10:32 PM

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