My RSS consumption habits have drastically changed over the years – but my consumption habits have always remained rooted in RSS. From RSSOwl to Google Reader to even embedding and dynamically updating my OPML file inside my website so people could see what feeds I was subscribed to at anytime, I’m still an advocate of RSS – exactly because of what this Wired article suggests: it cuts through the noise. I am a paying user of Feedly Pro following a preposterous 548 Sources in 16 Feeds. (Some of them aren’t publishing daily and my Feeds are broken into categories for easy pruning.) So yes, RSS is here to stay!
The modern web contains no shortage of horrors, from ubiquitous ad trackers to all-consuming platforms to YouTube comments, generally. Unfortunately, there’s no panacea for what ails this internet we’ve built. But anyone weary of black-box algorithms controlling what you see online at least has a respite, one that’s been there all along but has often gone ignored. Tired of Twitter? Facebook fatigued? It’s time to head back to RSS.
For many of you, that means finding a replacement for Digg Reader, which went the way of the ghost this month. Or maybe you haven’t used RSS since five years ago, when Google Reader, the beloved firehose of news headlines got the axe. For others, it means figuring out what the heck an RSS feed is in the first place—we’ll get to that in just a minute. And some of you have already moved on to the next article in your Feedly queue.
No matter what your current disposition, though, in this age of algorithmic overreach there’s something deeply satisfying about finding stories beyond what your loudest Twitter follows shared, or that Facebook’s News Feed optimized into your life. And lots of tools that can get you there.
Still, the lasting appeal of RSS remains the parts that haven’t changed: the unfiltered view of the open web, and the chance to make your own decisions about what you find there.