One of the reasons that might lead bloggers and webmasters to remove or neglect RSS feeds is that they provide no way to count followers (unique followers). A good evolution off RSS would be to allow a simple "declarative" download of RSS feeds.
- Authentication might be hard to obtain and maintain.
- Identified-only feeds might make users reluctant to use them.
- "Declaration" of an identifier of the follower is subject to many uncertainties, but could allow for a better count of unique users, returning users, etc.