RSS

I often talk about “RSS feeds” and that it’s my favorite way to follow content sources (news, blogs, YouTube channels) on the internet. Laura Kalbag wrote about how to read RSS in 2020 in which she explains the basics and benefits about RSS.

RSS is a way to get updates from a website without visiting the site itself. It’s particularly useful for getting the latest news from a news site, or blog posts from a blog.

You get to choose what you subscribe to in your feed reader, and the order in which the posts show up. […] Also, RSS does not track you. Not by default, anyway.

My favorite feed reader is Miniflux and you can find a list of my blog feeds on this page. According to my server logs a lot of people already follow me via those feeds, thank you. ❤

This rant is great!

Dear so-called “social” websites.

Your catchword is “share”, but you don’t want us to share. You want to keep us within your walled gardens. That’s why you’ve been removing RSS links from webpages, hiding them deep on your website, or removed feeds entirely, replacing it with crippled or demented proprietary API. FUCK YOU.

[…] Friends must be free to choose whatever software and service they want.

RSS-Bridge is a great open-source project that enables to subscribe to RSS feeds (other formats are supported too) of some services, that don’t provide RSS feeds, like Twitter, Instagram and a lot more. I currently use it to follow some Telegram channels.

Chris Coyier is thinking in an article on CSS-Tricks about RSS:

Don’t you want people to read your stuff? Having an RSS feed is saying, “I’m happy to meet you where you are. If you like reading stuff over there, then great, read it over there. I just like it when you read my stuff.”

But even when you don’t want to use RSS to “give content away for free”, you can still use RSS to let readers know when there’s new content on your site.

When I discover an interesting site and there’s an RSS feed, I might subscribe to it to stay up-to-date. But if your site doesn’t have one, I might visit your site once, but then forget about it and visit it never again. So even if you need the pageviews to generate ad-income (you could embedded static ads in your feed too, though…), it would still be better to provide support for RSS feeds, to make life of your visitors easier and probably keep them visiting your site again.

Although I unsubscribed from all YouTube channels and removed the app from my phone, I now try to consume videos in a more controlled way. I now subscribe to channels using my feed reader Miniflux. It seems like each YouTube channel has a channel ID, consisting of a random string, and an optional username. I found the following methods to work to subscribe to a channel: If the YouTube channel has a custom username (the URL of the channel is https://www.
Of course I still use RSS. RSS offers me the possibility to consume news in the way I want. No algorithms that think they have to decide for me what interests me and what not. No algorithms that withhold news from me. Only the feeds I have subscribed to, all news from these feeds and no advertising between the news. I’m done when I’m done and don’t have to look at any more suggested articles.
It seems like there’s a new trend popping up: Newsletters and paid newsletters. I prefer to read content using a news reader, with which I can subscribe to countless RSS (or JSON) feeds. I can also decide when to consume new content and am not bothered with reminders etc. that there is new content available. Full freedom on my side. Newsletters however popup in your email inbox and create pressure. The newsletter stays in your inbox, always reminding you, you haven’t looked at it yet.

According to this article by John Naughton on The Guardian, the first serious blog, Dave Winer’s blog Scripting News1, was born 25 years ago.

I want to highlight two things from this article (but you should read the whole article, everything not highlighted is interesting too):

1. Blogging doesn’t need monetization. Although I didn’t sell a company to Symantec, like Dave Winer did, I blog without showing ads on my site. I’m blogging to share my voice:

And despite its wide readership, it has never run ads. This may be partly because Dave doesn’t need the money […] but it’s mainly because he didn’t want to compete for the attention of his readers.

2. It’s nice that the Guardian recommends using RSS readers:

The blogosphere continues to be one of our greatest information resources. So why not log off social media, get yourself an RSS reader and wise up?


  1. I never heard of his blog before, to be honest. And the shaky train, I sit in, and the bad WiFi in this train don’t allow me inspect it further at the moment. It also seems to load somewhat slow and doesn’t have https. 🤔 ↩︎

I never thought being featured in a website that hits the Hacker News frontpage, results in so many pageviews. Thanks for sharing my blog, Kev! Kev Quirk mentioned my blog and especially my blogroll in his article “Please Add RSS Support To Your Site” (on Hacker News), where he asks blog owners to please provide an RSS feed. I already blogged, that RSS is still alive and it’s actually an integral part of the open web.

Too much news?

I’m currently on vacation and spend less time than usual on things like news and blog articles. A result of this is my news reader is collecting more and more news articles, but too many to read them all. I am currently subscribed to around 75 news feeds (blogs, but news sites too), and every now and then I go through the list of all new articles and save those that seem to be interesting.
Jan-Lukas Else
20 years old student who writes about everything he cares about.