http://camendesign.com/blog/rss_is_dying). Although I agree with some of the points he made, I disagree with the conclusion and some of the reasoning.
The post first assumes that the client-side browser settings are the optimal location for RSS feed configuration.
On the contrary, I am an avid RSS user that finds the local browser a really poor choice for storing RSS selections. This is why I don't use the RSS button in Firefox. It simply doesn't travel to other computers without reconfiguring those as well. This is a useless choice for my needs. When I add an RSS feed to follow, I want that setting to automatically follow me from machine to machine -- even those machines that I don't own.
An online service such as Google Reader is perfect for this. Sure you give up some privacy by storing what subjects you're interested in to an online service, but Camen already has a GMail account -- presumably with far more interesting material than what blogs he follows.
I agree that most users have no idea what the RSS acronym or icon mean (and that it should be labeled "Subscribe" instead), but the article assumes that they would care if they did know. Most Internet users are not avid consumers of content, nor do they follow blogs or major news sources. They tend to go to one or two sites every day (mostly Facebook, YouTube, and TMZ, unfortunately) and everything else is a one-off Google search or accidental click for them. Period. Sit down and watch a non-tech person browse some day. You'll be amazed at how dramatically their behavior differs from those of us in the industry.
Next, Camen conflates the existence of RSS features as the "second most important feature in browsers" with the existence of RSS in general. This is an important piece of the argument in setting up a false dichotomy that appears to be central to the post:
Either browser vendors make RSS easier to use and more obvious to the average user (and keep the icon on the toolbar by default)
We all are forced to have a Facebook (or another corporate entity) account and it will be the only method for aggregating content so you won't be able to maintain any sort of privacy over what content you read.
Wow, those are really complex items on either side of that coin. For the most part, the more complex the dichotomy, the more likely it is to be false.
I find it far more likely that RSS will remain as it is today; an underutilized but highly-prized feature that a minority of the web populace use religiously. Luckily, the people who tend to use RSS are the techies and web designers; the very people who are in a place to ensure it survives.
The main issue with this article seems to be that Camen has assumed that everyone either uses the web in the same way he does, or would if they only knew it were possible. Perhaps, as a web designer he should spend more time analyzing how "normal" people use the web and less time fretting about the demise of RSS.