There are two distinctive views on RSS.Stepping back a second, why are we exposing things called RSS, Atom, and XML to readers at all? Do they care what these data formats are? No, only geeks like us care. Mainstream readers just want to read news.
The first is that it is a fantastic technology that will empower web users [and] transform the way we get our news and information ...
The second is that ... it has been designed by geeks for geeks; it is too fiddly for normal human beings; and after you've finally worked out how to set up your RSS reader you rapidly find yourself with 5,000 unread articles, 200 photos from Flickr, and a few dozen podcasts that you will never get round to listening to. The net result is complete information overload: the very thing it was designed to eliminate.
In my opinion, both of these are true. Despite the smart software and web services available ... [it] is still too clunky for many users to adopt. It is still very much a minority sport, favoured by those - shall we say - with natural technical aptitude.
I think next-generation RSS readers will have to get past exposing RSS feeds. Readers just want to read news. All the magic of locating the content needs to be hidden. It all needs to just work.
See also my earlier posts, "Blog readers and RSS", "RSS for the mainstream", and "RSS sucks and information overload".