I’ve tried this RSS analogy thing a few times now, mainly because the concept of RSS is pretty integral to the new social Web. While my “lake and river” analogy got some good pick up, I still didn’t think it was all the way there so I’ve continued to think about it. Yesterday I tried out a new analogy on a client and thankfully it went down well so I’m repeating it here.
RSS and its use is a lot like the old telephone exchange. You tell the operator (your RSS reader) who or what you want to connect to and the people behind the scenes at the telephone exchange (the RSS) physically connect you.
As I’ve said before, the technology doesn’t matter. I don’t need to know what goes into a BlackBerry or even a laptop in order to use it. I just need to know how to use the BlackBerry/lap top. In fact, ignorance is bliss. It is easier to not know about a stupid sounding acronym and just use the technology than the other way round.
So just as we now just pick up a phone, dial and the telephone exchange works invisibly in the background, RSS does the same thing. For example, on the two most en vogue social networks, Facebook and Twitter, I connect with someone and RSS works invisibly in the background to continuously bring their information into my news stream.