Hello, I’m a web craftsman with a passion for the modern web. I build web applications and play with social services and communities.
I definitely agree with the development of simplified designs in order to provide a cleaner user interface. But this is not entirely related to RSS feeds.
However, the main reason that makes me hesitate integrating RSS feeds in my main projects is advertisement. Yes, RSS feeds concentrate on the content. And this is good for people who need to get a quick update without waiting for the full page to load and spend time on looking for the right spot.
But as owner of a website even RSS feeds take server performance away. And the most common way to make money to pay for webspace/servers is banner advertisement. And especially this kind of advertisement is part of the visual design.
So what will happen to online advertising if most of the hits come through feeds rather than actual web site views??
Well the only solution to that is moving advertisement from visual design to the content. That would mean ads show up in the feeds as text-based ads. This would be pretty annoying and may keep some people away from feeds. So we need both. Ads on the page itself and ads in the feeds. More work for the webmasters to integrate those and more things to keep track of.
Another possible “solution” that is already in use is displaying only the beginning of the content in the feed with a “read more” button that redirects to the actual site. However, this does only work for blogs and news sites. And there are a lot of other pages out there that need to address that issue.