RSS Awareness Day

When I got the first notification that today, May 1, was to be promoted as RSS Awareness Day, my first thought was, why not have a Watching Grass Grow Awareness Day?

After all, for a lot of us bloggers and other netizens, RSS is more a feature of the landscape than something needing more awareness.

But of course I appreciate that not everyone knows about RSS and many of those who know “about” it do not have a real grasp of what it is or how it can be used. In fact, from various things I’ve read, I quite believe the statement by the RSS Awareness Day people that

Only a very small percentage of the Internet population is aware of the RSS format and its benefits, and that number is growing slowly over time.

I suspect that the most helpful thing I can do for those people is to provide a link to Lee Lefever’s excellent video explanation of RSS.

But I don’t think that’s really enough.

Thinking a bit more about what RSS means to me, I realized that most of what I read about RSS and have told others about it, and even Lee Lefer’s video which is a fun style of presentation, have a sense of worthiness and in that they do not fully represent why I love RSS.

It does seem to me that, albeit with the best of intentions and especially on business-focused blogs such as this, we feel we have to explain RSS in terms of productivity, or efficiency or “getting things done” – all obligation and duty stuff.

Is there any fun here?

Well, for me there is. I actually open my RSS feed reader each day – and sometimes more than once a day – with eager anticipation. There is invariably a nice surprise, something entertaining, something to make me smile, as well as things that are “serious”.

It’s by no means all earnestness and efficiency.

For me, as life was for Forrest Gump’s mother, RSS is “like a box of chocolates, never know what you’re gonna get.”

Like today I read about:

OK, maybe these examples are not chocolatey enough for everyone, but they work for me.

RSS – don’t logon without it.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).