And could be “fixed” with one simple change in their user experience.
One-click subscribe. Currently, you have to cut-and-paste RSS feed URLs into RSS readers. If RSS feeds ended with “.rss” (instead of .xml or .rdf), then simply clicking on them should launch your preferred RSS reader and automatically subscribe you to the feed. Cutting-and-pasting is a pain, and will keep RSS out of the hands of the less tech-savvy, because it requires them to understand things like “URLs” and that they’re “subscribing” to a “news feed.” What is understand is that I cilck and I get stuff. Currently, if I click an RSS feed I’m awash with unformatted gibberish.
Alternatively, I suppose it’s pretty obvious that RSS aggregation will simply become a feature of next generation web browsers. I now use the RSS reader Shrook, which utilizes the Safari toolkit to embed a web browser in the reader. How long until Safari (and IE, and Mozilla, etc.) simply allow you to track your RSS subscriptions? It would be a pretty simple addition to the web browser interface, and have the added benefit of being the first significant bit of browser evolution since Mosaic allowed for inline images. (Though I suppose auto-filling of forms was also remarkably valuable.)