Will Twitter Replace RSS?

Joshua Rothman hopes so:

Reader was made for absurdly ambitious readers. It’s designed for people like me—or, rather, for people like the person I used to be—that is, for people who really do intend to read everything. You might feel great when you reach Inbox Zero, but, believe me, it feels even better to reach Reader Zero: to scroll and scan until you’ve seen it all.

Twitter, which has replaced Reader (and R.S.S.) for many people, works on a different principle. It’s not organized or completist. There are no illusions with Twitter. You can’t pretend, by “marking it read,” that you’ve read it all; you don’t think you’re going to cram “the world of ideas” into your Twitter stream. At the same time, you’re going to be surprised, provoked, informed. It’s a better model.

Joshua Gans, on the other hand, sees RSS and Twitter as complements:

Take Mark Thoma. His blog and twitter feeds have a huge following. Why? Because he reads all of the Econ blogs and picks out what he thinks is best. If you read Thoma, chances are you don’t need Google Reader. He is the social web. But how does Thoma operate? My guess is that he uses a feed reader and has a system for tagging good posts and forwarding them on to others. Sometimes it is just a link. Other times he provides a quote and a little commentary. Remove his tools and his job gets harder.