Codebalion's Scratchpad So, I wanna talk about something...

RSS & Atom Feeds

Wed, 21 Apr 2021 at 00:00:00

68 feeds. 18 YouTube channels, 3 Mastodon feeds from people I just really want to follow, 5 news feeds from major projects, 1 web comic, 3 of my own blogs, and the remaining 38 are other people's blogs. And that number keeps growing.

That's what my ~/.config/newsboat/urls file looks like, and compared to social media, it's far more sane for my needs. I don't feel rushed to check every feed when I see it updating. I can save articles to read later, and not feel like I'm missing out. And when I feel overwhelmed by something, I can just delete it from my personal listing and not worry about being out of some loop.

That's what RSS/Atom means to me: being able to keep up with things that interest me, but not being stressed out while trying to do so.

Hell, right now, I have 7 articles in my vimwiki's Reading List to read when I'm feeling more up to it. 5 of those are from one blog that I follow, with 4 of them being on setting up a personal email/groupware server, which I want to do here at home. I know about those articles because I follow the blog through a newsfeed.

And yet, I've seen a (relatively trivial) number of people proclaim that RSS is dead, mostly because Google Reader died. I mean, leave it up to Google to push their own agenda by killing off anything that might help to push another competing standard, because we all know most people wouldn't deal with Amp if there were actual options to do so.

No, the real truth is that people won't use something unless it's so simple that anyone can use it. And at one point, newsfeeds had exactly that: a button in nearly every browser that let you easily subscribe to a newsfeed by adding it as a rel="alternate" link in the head of a website. Google removed it, Edge removed it, Firefox removed it, Opera removed it, and I don't think Brave or Vivaldi have ever had it. Some alternative browsers still have the feature, but for the most part, the "Big 3" outside of Apple (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) decided to abandon a standard despite people using it, because they had other agendas to push. And so, they spread the narrative that "people weren't using it" in order to try and get everyone to use their products instead.

And yet, me and many like me will happily use RSS to keep up with the news, or blogs, or anything else that will offer us the service.

RSS isn't dead.


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