I have had my problems with RSS feeds. I actually gave up on RSS completely for a while and moved to StumbleUpon for a significant amount of time. The reasons are pretty much what you will have read - too much clutter in feeds, a disconcertingly big backlog, indiscriminate posting by news outlets and so on. But once I figured out Google Reader, Yahoo Pipes and topic based distribution sites, RSS has come back into my life.
I find it difficult to believe that RSS is dead. To state the obvious, it is a syndication format, not an opinion piece. It is not the news, but the news carrier, if you will. I find it much easier to consume, organize and follow than a very rambling and noisy Twitter list.There are enough ways to filter your feeds to keep out the unwanted and keep in the sufficient. There is more mojo with RSS which you can read here and here. In short RSS based feeds are easier to consume, organize and make sense of in any quantity compared to the high noise social outlets.
Its actually my main learning tool at this time. InfoQ, IBM Developer Works, DZone and quite a lot of outlets have multiple writers posting new articles and walkthroughs. I find it easier to select a limited number of subject-specific feeds, organize them in an easy-to-understand order,pick up a new topic, jump to it, and go through it. Do I have a large backlog - yes, I do, but I also have more leisure in selecting the right topic for me and working from there. In all fairness, Reader has been a valuable tool making my work much easier.
Here's one other thing that I use rss feeds for - automated messages from my Continuous Integration Server, Hudson. I don't need to keep a
Twitter is an awesome service - barring the spam, the self-promotion and the almost always irrelevant tags used to push oneself up to the top of the latest results for something or the other. I don't dismiss twitter - I follow a couple of good sources on Reader and Twitter. But organizing Twitter is not very easy for me to understand, and I am still working out a few visualization ideas. Lets see where that goes. Maybe later on this...
I still don't think RSS is dead. All the reading I did for writing this actually strengthens my feelings.