Why RSS still matters in 2021?
If you are a person who is just starting to be tech-wise, or you are an experienced user, who on daily basis monitoring various websites to be always up-to-date, you know that social media is not the place where you will look, it’s RSS.
I started with “tech-wise” wording, but that’s incorrect. RSS is so powerful that it can be used widely in many different areas by people with various skill level. In reality, everybody who’s using the Internet can benefit from it.
Derek Kedziora explained in his post: A Gentle Intro to RSS, what is RSS and how to use it. I will add my word to that.
Imagine RSS (through RSS reader) as your inbox. Instead of getting emails, you get notifications from websites you follow about new things. These new things are published in so-called feeds where the latest articles landing on top.
Then the new article is published, the RSS feed is updated and if you are subscribed to receive notification from it, it will pop up like a new email in your inbox, like an unread article from that website (feed).
RSS is a technology that is implemented on most websites and doesn’t require any external infrastructure to work. There is no infrastructure to maintain, so it is less likely that it will get killed by a company looking for cost-cutting. See Google, they are the best in killing their services.
For me, it’s really strange if somebody will omit that on his website (unless the website does not provide new articles daily).
I know, that if I found a website that is publishing some interesting stuff and it doesn’t have RSS (or Atom), and I cannot add it to my RSS reader, more likely I will lose a link to it and will never visit again.
Simple as that.
What a shame to an author of the website, especially if he is publishing value posts.
I mentioned “or Atom” as RSS and Atom are technologies that serve a similar purpose and can be used together. Most RSS readers can read Atom as well, and they are called feed readers.
With RSS you are only notified about what’s new on the selected website. There is no algorithm messing with it, dictating what you shall read and what’s not (like Facebook Feed). All new content is landing on top.
If you are using a service like Feedly, they will monitor websites for you. Once you log in back into Feedly, you will see which website has new articles.
Unless you start from the Today page, then their algorithm will decide, which posts to bring you first (from only your list of posts).
You can also maintain your feed locally. There are plenty of free RSS readers that will sync (check for new content in feeds) when you open an app.
I prefer Feedly to do this for me, as sometimes I may not have time for a week to open it and don’t want to lose anything (some apps do not sync feed too far back).
Of course, after a week I will have 1,000+ things to go through, but with smart gestures and “mark all as read” I can manage this chaos.
There are days, that I am monitoring certain topics, and I am reading only feeds, that are relevant at the time. This is why I organise mine in folders.
There are days, especially after the Apple conference, that number of articles raises an enormous pace and can reach 250 in just one evening from selected group of websites. This is where you will understand the “mark all as read” button.
My feeds are mostly aggregation of tech websites, however, I got some that publishing new recipes or reviews of new movies.
As a dual lingual person, I got the advantage to be able to read in two languages even on the same topic. Based on what I read from the source (English) I can see what nonsense and conspiracy theory various authors, writing in Polish, are spreading. Sadly, that’s the case.
If you don’t want to look silly, always read or verify somebody’s theory at the source.
There are some, that concentrate to get hitting subject with zero-relevant content. Thanks to that I can quickly make my opinion and if needed, stop following it.
What I follow or stop following is strictly up to me, hence there is no grief from authors that they suddenly, after publishing some nonsense, lost 100k followers.
Or, like some YouTubers, who instead of concentrating on their content checking analytics and complaining, that only the 30% of who watch their content subscribed to the channel. Pathetic.
I hate YouTube, as it changed over the years massively. Not because of content and YouTubers, but because of Google, who abuse our privacy and try to monetise the website at all cost. Sometimes I simply give up watching something if I got an ad every minute (or every 30 seconds I skip) and prefer to read the matter instead.
Going back to RSS.
Starting with RSS is easy. Assuming you created a Feedly account (or chose an app for that), you just need to add your website using the plus (+) button and typing the website address (for example https://smittenkitchen.com).
If the website has implemented an RSS reader, you will be able to follow it.
Feedly will inform you, analysing the RSS feed for the website, how often authors are publishing new articles. I will avoid those publishing hundreds a day, as this is something that you will struggle to maintain and the whole purpose of monitoring the website to get you information-reach will lose its sense.
Before you click the follow button, you can click on the website and check, what last published articles are, and once again, decide before you commit.
The content you follow is totally up to you.
Of course, Feedly will try to analyse your feeds and what you read. From time to time they will put some sponsored article into your feed, but that’s the only price (unless you go into a premium plan) that you need to pay.
If you would like to follow my website and have been notified when I will publish something new, you just need to add my website address.
For English posts: https://dariusz.wieckiewicz.org/en/
For Polish posts just: https://dariusz.wieckiewicz.org
Haven’t you tried RSS yet? Give it a go.