A few months ago I joined Twitter. I just did it for the specific purpose of receiving automatic notifications of storms approaching the East Coast. I looked for the National Hurricane Center and began following them.
At the same time I subscribed for their RSS feed. I have been receiving some RSS feeds on my blackberry in the past but never paid much attention to them. But I thought it would be a good idea to do some research and subscribe to RSS feeds that would deliver in my blackberry and iPod those headers on topics that could interest me.
The thing is, as I continued using both Twitter and the RSS feeder, I noted I was getting duplicate information! Come to think about it, Twitter is just an RSS feeder. Of course, one in which anyone can have their own feed without much knowledge on how to do an actual RSS feed.
So I came to think about it. What is the difference or the benefit of receiving RSS feeds versus Twitts? And is in fact Tweeter slowly killing the RSS feeds?
In my case, I hate to admit (because I'm not so much into social networks) that Twitter is killing my interest in getting RSS feeds, mainly because every site I'm thinking on searching for RSS feeds has also a Twitter account. And while this might be true for RSS feeds as well, note that even my TV has access to Twitter these days, so it seems easier to just follow accounts on Twitter than to subscribe to RSS feeds.
I might be missing the fact that there are several types of RSS feeds, such as blogs, and that you may be able to filter easier topics of interest when subscribing to RSS feeds, but still I see both as competitors and so far a clear winner.
I also just started subscribing to podcasts, which also sort of compete with tweets and feeds, although in a different format. Granted, none of these are new tools, it's just that I'm discovering them right now (shocker, as I consider myself quite a "techie").
I will keep on trying to find the best use of these two tools for me, because in the end it is all about maximizing the benefit that users get out of them, isn't it? But I have this feeling that I will keep on using more and more Twitter and will eventually forget about RSS feeds.
I wonder how other people interact with these tools. I have a feeling that not so many people get RSS feeds, most are Twitter users, and probably a large amount get some podcasts on a regular basis.