RSS illiteracy

From a New York Times article about Brian Stelter and his wonderful TVNewser blog comes this outrageous quote from a high-level broadcast executive:

“The whole industry pays attention to his blog,” said Jeffrey W. Schneider, a senior vice president of ABC News. “It would not surprise me if I refreshed my browser 30 to 40 times a day.”

Obviously, Mr. Schneider has NEVER HEARD OF RSS and is living in ancient web history! I mean, who refreshes a browser anymore? Hello!

I find it amazing how many mainstream media people run from RSS and use the excuse “nobody knows what it is.” There’s a wonderful DirectTV ad with Jessica Simpson in her Dukes of Hazard role where the character says, “…it’s available in 1080i. I don’t even know what that is, but I want it.” If the industry can teach people about high definition terms, surely it can teach people about RSS.


  1. I’ve given up, Terry. I hear stuff like this all the time. I do everything I can to evangelize how much life can be simplified by merely setting up a Google Reader page or MyYahoo — I’ve given up on anything that may be better but more “frightening” to someone.

  2. and all this time i thought RSS stood for Really Short Skirts…that’s why i signed up everywhere!

  3. btw- happy thanksgiving!

  4. Chip Mahaney says

    I’m amazed at how many smart, busy people in this business still don’t have a clue what RSS is, and how it can deliver targeted content to individual users much faster than any other mechanism we have. I feel like I’m a one-man RSS evangelist in my newsroom.

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