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two things from the "duh" department

duh-duh1233387823 Something I am as pleased as punch over is how the younger generation is now balking at Facebook, essentially stating it is a complete waste of time and not worth the bother.

Yes, you'll find plenty of internet charts/statistics/whatever that say social networking is rising, rising, rising and that if you're not in the thick of it, you're missing out.

Bull.

What these stats never mention is how many bouncers there are because there is no way to track that. A bouncer is when somebody signs up for the web site, uses it for a short period of time, then abandons it. This happens a lot, and it's not going to stop any time soon. So are the numbers of users increasing? Yes. Is the system getting more used because of it? No.

Facebook is already well on its way towards jump-the-shark territory. The fanboy/fangirl users of the system just don't know it yet.

~ ~ ~

Another thing which I have been saying for a while now that has more less proven to be 100% true is that RSS is dead. Okay, maybe not totally dead, but is steadily falling off the face of the internet. Why? Because nobody cares about it anymore.

I stopped using RSS readers a while ago, and I'll tell you why.

Here's what happens when you use one:

In the beginning, you'll be all sorts of happy that you have one place where you can have all your favorite web sites in one convenient spot.

Over time you keep adding in more and more sites. You add, separate into folders, and so on.

Then comes the point where you notice a few very large, very obvious problems with RSS.

  1. You can't comment on any blog post from within a feed. It's simply not possible.
  2. Certain feeds never look right no matter what feed reader you use.
  3. For site-specific announcements, this is in many instances never listed in the feed, so you miss out on stuff.
  4. Nobody, and I mean nobody, puts newsletter specific content in a feed. And that's usually the most important stuff other than the site itself, should the site offer one.

The largest realization you will come to as a reader:

Bookmarks are better and always were.

The largest realizations you will come to as a blog author:

  1. FeedBurner sucks. It is not the end-all/be-all of RSS. It misses content periodically, the tracking system it employs is just plain terrible, and true to Google tradition, anything they acquire inevitably turns into complete crap. FeedBurner is yet another instance of "It was great before Google acquired it."
  2. There is no way to monetize an RSS feed that will bring in any significant profit. Use a newsletter instead.
  3. You can't accurately track readers of your feed, no matter what tools out there say you can.
  4. You're better off setting your RSS feed to excerpt-only and forcing the users to come to your web site. Why? Because it works. And it encourages user participation.

And for those of you who say, "I don't want to upset my reader base by following point 4", bear in mind the people that read your site via RSS and never go to your site do absolutely nothing for you. You don't lose anything if those people stop reading your site because they're being lazy to begin with. If they can't be brought to clicking once out of RSS to read a blog post on your site that you put a ton of effort into, they're not worth your time no matter how much you think they are.

Facebook blows. RSS sucks. Or vice versa.

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