Note: This is mainly for website updates and the occasional link. Most
of my personal updates are done on my Google+ page.
Interesting to see lots of articles today talking about how the
shutdown of Google Reader means "RSS is dead". RSS was alive long
before Reader - it is great software, but it is just one of thousands
of RSS aggregators (see the bottom of this post for more). Firefox
even has a built-in RSS reader with sync between devices.
For those who don't know, RSS is a system sites can use to publish
when they have new articles - you use "RSS aggregator" software to
tell you there is new content and quickly filter out what you aren't
interested in based on the title, summary or keywords. It keeps track
of what you've read and what you haven't, and articles you want to
read or refer to later.
If you read a lot of content each day its an essential tool. With RSS
you don't have to manually go to each site to see if they have
something new. You don't have to wade through all the content
yourself, and keep track of what is read and unread yourself. I
estimate it doubles or triples the amount of sites and material I get
through, mainly because I can quickly filter out what I don't want.
Many years ago I stopped reading sites unless they have an RSS feed I
can connect to (and filter for what I'm interested in) - I don't have
the time to poll-and-scroll sites that don't. I've stopped reading
sites which have poorly implemented feeds too (attention Reddit and
Hacker News, just putting a title and a link isn't useful). Reader
going away sucks, but RSS isn't going anywhere.
I mentioned Firefox's built in aggregator before, but there are many
RSS reading alternatives which operate in utterly different ways. One
is rss2email - it converts RSS feed articles into emails, so you can
read the feeds using whatever you are currently using for email
(filtering it to a different inbox is highly recommended).
rss2html converts a set of feeds into a text or HTML page - you can
run it on your own machine and generate your own page of feeds, or as
a cronjob on your web server and access it from anywhere. Of course
there are also many "cloud" based ones like Reader, many standalone
applications for all platforms, many which straddle the line by
providing local storage and cloud sync. Finding one that fits the way
you work is one of the advantages of using RSS.
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