What the hell is Steve Gillmor thinking?
In an article published in yesterday's TechCrunch, Gillmor pronounces the death of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). He even proclaimed that Twitter is the champion of all newstreams.
This is really off base for several reasons. For one thing, Twitter is not designed for that kind of traffic, at least not right now. Every time something major happens on Twitter, fail whales start showing up like cases of swine flu. If you also take into consideration that Twitter doesn't have a revenue model in place to sustain the for higher amounts of bandwidth needed for constant hits on their site and also the relatively low limit of 100 API calls within 60 minutes, you have a case of too much too soon.
I doubt the service is truly viable alternative for RSS/ATOM feeds. Sites for MSM usually have alternative methods of communicating news other than just text. Video clips and audio streams are something mainstreamers love to place on their sites for that "value-added" feel and Twitter does not have a way to carry that information currently.
Let's not forget why Twitter was started. It came about because people wanted a way to communication via text message with someone sitting at a computer. That's why there is a 140-character limitation per post.
Also, let's be reminded that the iTunes store use RSS feeds to syndicate podcast/vidcast feeds for download to the masses. If we did away with RSS feeds, what other low-impact, viable option would there be for Apple to move to? Just because something seems old-skool doesn't mean it's broken.
Convincing people to switch to a Twitter stream in lieu of their favorite RSS feeds is just plain ridiculous - at least at this stage.
Gillmor, if happen to be reading this, I am still in love with my RSS reader. I'm sorry if Google Reader doesn't provide you with an immersive enough of an experience. If you're dissatisfied with the experience, blame it on the user experience and the UI, not the medium in which the content is presented.