It's Time to Look at RSS Again

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

RSS Readers Are Due for a Comeback: Feedly, The Old Reader, Inoreader | WIRED

Anyone weary of black-box algorithms controlling what you see online at least has a respite, one that's been there all along but has often gone ignored. Tired of Twitter? Facebook fatigued? It's time to head back to RSS.

Brian Barrett makes a compelling argument for why RSS is still a valuable tool in 2018 to read the news you want to see. Many people moved their news consumption to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook year ago, but I never went along. I was “old school” and stuck with RSS (and Apple News for more general news).

Now that social networks have become (depending on who you are) toxic hellscapes of humanity’s worst instincts, that seems like a pretty terrible place to also be your main news source.

No one personally attacks me in my RSS feeds like they can in my Twitter timeline.

I don’t get just the stories an algorithm thinks I need to see like I do on Facebook.

My social and news updates are not intertwined, causing me to have to phase switch every single post in my feed as I go from friends’ updates to news stories.

A dumb feed is not right for everyone, and services like Apple News and Feedly do a good job of showing you your feeds while also attempting to surface the most important content first. But that said, I think there is value in separating your social feeds from your news feeds, and RSS is a great way to do that.

If you are on iOS, then I suggest using Fiery Feeds, Reeder, or Unread as your local app, and Feedly, Inoreader, or Feedbin as your syncing service.

If you’re on Android, then Newsfold is the best RSS app by a mile and it supports Feedly and Inoreader. All other RSS apps are pretty junky, so I don’t recommend any of them.