Dave Winer absolutely [doesn’t] agree that the most powerful application of RSS is to flow it through mail readers. I suspect that is because he views RSS as his personal, real time, news feed. And news has a very short life time. After all, who wants to read yesterday’s news?
But RSS isn’t just for news. RSS is for syndicated information, some of which has a lifetime measured in months or years. For example, I’m saving Simon Willison’s posts on CSS and some items from my developerWorks feed. I expect them to remain valuable for some time.
So while I’m flexible on the issue of whether I first read my RSS in my mail program, I absolutely believe in having a single archive for both my RSS and my email. Because it’s a pain to perform the same search twice, simply because you’re stuck with two archives.
And I still believe that if you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t get RSS, then you should try positioning it as broadcast email. Yes, that means that they’re starting out with a more limited vision. But isn’t that better than no vision at all? And doesn’t that just mean that there opportunities to open their eyes to a broader vision in the future?