It’s amazing how one blog post can lead to another.
Last week, I vowed to go old school with blog posting and reading. Well, that plan encountered a few snags. Good thing I’m persistent.
Snag #1 – No RSS Feeds
I had two visitors in my last post who have blogs, and whose feed I wanted to add to my feed reader. Alas, their websites do not include feeds. Which led me to a realization and a related snag.
Snag #2 – RSS Feeds are Passe
I don’t really care about this. I vowed to go old school, and RSS definitely qualifies.
(What's with all the headings, you might ask? Well, my blog has this spiffy new Gutenberg editor, and I'm playing around with it. This is a Preformatted block.)
So I did some research. I Googled “Is RSS obsolete”. Some articles, dated 2013 and 2015, answered with a resounding yes, and talked all about how Facebook are sooo much better, because they’ll curate you, dontchaknow.
Whenever I read about “curated” websites, think of museum curators, who put together the displays based on what they think you would want to pay money to see. In the case of Facebook and Twitter, the curator is the Algorithm, and it shoves you content based on what it thinks will keep you on their site long enough to serve you more ads. That’s why you get articles with titles like “Stacy Starborn no longer plucks her eyebrows! Here’s why!”. And “She was jaw-dropping in 1998. See what she looks like today!”
If I want to be curated, I’ll go to a museum.–Me
But one stood out, an article at Gizmodo: Why RSS Still Beats Facebook and Twitter for Tracking News.
(So yes, I was looking for people who were thinking like me.)
Per the article, RSS feeds are useful precisely because they do not attempt “curation”. The author didn’t actually say, that; it’s my summary. If I want to be curated, I’ll go to a museum.
And besides, it seems that most professional websites still use RSS feeds because, well, it’s simple. It was called Really Simple Syndication for a reason, and countless APIs (website communication thingies) already use them. No point in throwing it away at all.
Snag #3 – My Feed Reader is Lazy
Good old Google Reader used to wrest a feed out of any blog, whether it published an RSS feed or not. My feed reader, Inoreader, could not find a feed on several websites. Research leads me to believe that this may be a “pro” feature. I have not looked into it yet. My approach was to leave nice comments on the blogs in question, asking them to please publish a feed.
Yes, I could subscribe to the websites via other means and get emails. But honestly, those emails will just get lost. When you have had the same email address ever since Google opened Gmail to all comers, you have a lot of junk coming to that inbox. And most of the time, when I look at email, I am not blog surfing at that time. I blog surf on a bit of a schedule.
To get around all of these snags, I’m going to do a few things:
- Continue to nicely ask owners of interesting blogs to publish a feed,
- See what the “pro” level of Inoreader will get me, and determine if it is worth it,
- Check out how IFTTT might help, per the suggestion in the Gizmoto article that I linked above, which was an intriguing suggestion.
Any other suggestions?