RSS rediscovered

Written on January 2, 2020

I was never much of a heavy RSS user when Google Reader was around. I had an account, bought Reeder for iOS and occasionally used it but didn’t really appreciate the web standard. I always knew RSS existed and it was something you want to have available if you ran a website. But it never really stuck with me.

Then I discovered podcasts. But the technology to consume podcasts kind of made the fact that it runs off of RSS invisible. The main source of where I consumed and discovered podcasts were through Apple iTunes. You didn’t have to individually subscribe to someone’s RSS feed to get access to their podcast, you went to the iTunes store and you searched for their show and then subscribed.

Even now, I use Overcast and have never manually added a podcast show. The option to manually add shows is definitely there, but I can usually find shows using their search feature.

Over the last few years I’ve been using Twitter to be my main source of how I kept up with news in my industry, industries I was interested and current affairs. But be it a side-affect of getting older or friends who have become quieter on the social media platform, I’ve been drawn to following folks and their personal blogs lately.

I don’t think I’m alone in this shift. This past year, NetNewsWire, a macOS RSS reader—and my RSS reader of choice—released version 5.0. Since downloading the beta, I’ve started to read more RSS feeds and I admit, I’ve been enjoying it a lot.

I’m still curating which blogs to follow. But it’s been nice to read things in longer form. I also like that the conversation is one-sided. I can read someone’s thoughts and opinions, without the noise of other people’s opinions about that original opinion.

I can also follow and unfollow an RSS feed as I please without worrying about if the author will ever discover that I stopped following them like I sometimes do on Twitter.

I truly hope more folks will embrace their own personal sites and start to share their ideas there. As I think RSS is making a come back and I’m happy to be rediscovering this standard that’s been around for more than two decades.

While I haven’t set myself any goals with this new year. I do want to write more on this site. First for myself as writing is an exercise that I enjoy. Second I enjoy preserving my current thoughts and I don’t think I do it enough. And finally, if you’re reading this as a subscriber to my RSS, you’re a reason I want to write more. I want to provide something of worth to be subscribed to and taking the time to read.

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