While Steve Gillmor is declaring RSS dead, buried by the emergence of the real time web, I was thinking about the course of events as far as content authoring and fruition are concerned.
At the very beginning there was WWW, an application designed to author and browse web pages, all in one. But right after that, browsers evolved leaving behind the authoring part, which became the domain of a whole bunch of “professional” applications, separating content authoring from content creation in different tools.
Later, at the beginning of blogging, Radio UserLand would bring together again content authoring and reading: you would use Radio to write on your own blog, and you would use Radio built in browser to read what other people would publish on their sites, using RSS.
But then, again, authoring and reading tools separated these tasks: WordPress, Movable Type, Blogger etc. are authoring tools, while Google Reader, NetNewsWire, Bloglines, etc. are just readers.
Also if they do provide some degree of openness, Twitter, Facebook and most other SN we see today have brought again together the authoring and reading features, within the same applications.
While having the two features united makes a lot of sense to bootstrap a service, it looks like so far they ended up being separated by vertical specialized application. I guess we are going to see this split happen again soon.
PS: I do think that the news of RSS death might be exaggerated. Maybe some users don’t have time to bath in river of news anymore because they are too busy juggling real time applications, but most of these funky quick apps are still based on solid RSS pipes.