Some time ago I began using Google Reader to stay up-to-date with stuff. By stuff I mean blogs from friends, news from several sites, updates from scientific publications, lolcats/loldogs, and so on. Basically, everything.
That brings to mind something very odd that’s been happening to the internet. People don’t have to go to websites to get information from them.
In a way that’s a good thing, because it makes it clear that content is more important than looks, since you don’t need to care about the looks on a particular page to read from it if you find it interesting. Also, it means that you don’t have to wade through all the ads that keep popping up everywhere you go. And, most importantly, it means having everything you want in the same place; no need to visit every single page that might have something interesting.
However, that keeps me thinking: what is the future of web sites?
If everyone starts using feed readers to retrieve stuff from websites, what’s the point of keeping up ads, or even of working out a pleasing look?
See this blog, for instance; how many people visit here to see if there’s something new? How many of them just leave it to the feed aggregator to check the rss feed and download new content? Am I just wasting time when I am looking for another template and adapting it?
Personally I believe that the layout of a website is an integral part of its content, and as such it affects the way whatever is on the page is seen. When I’m reading my feeds and I find something that’s interesting – not just plain interesting, but above-the-normal-interesting – I load it on another tab.
I’m not sure what’s the answer to the question in the title. Personally, I like to see a well-made website, so I can just hope they don’t get killed by rss.