Unfortunately, syndication on the modern web still only happens through one of a very small number of channels, meaning that none of us “retain control over our online personae” the way that Werbach imagined we would. One reason this happened is garden-variety corporate rapaciousness—RSS, an open format, didn’t give technology companies the control over data and eyeballs that they needed to sell ads, so they did not support it. But the more mundane reason is that centralized silos are just easier to design than common standards. Consensus is difficult to achieve and it takes time, but without consensus spurned developers will go off and create competing standards. The lesson here may be that if we want to see a better, more open web, we have to get better at working together.

Kind of an overly complex conclusion. I’d say RSS died out because companies make a lot more money by keeping in their platform. There’s no way Facebook would bank so much if they were distributed (via RSS) versus centralized. By cutting off good API access, Twitter has been making this same move. There may be money in distributed content, for sure, but not as much as the golden handcuffs of Facebook’s model.

Profits killed RSS, plain and simple. motherboard.vice.com/en_us/art…