Back to the RSS

Harry van den Bergh
2 min readJan 13, 2024

I am back to using RSS and I am loving it.

What is RSS

For those not familiar with RSS (Real Simple Syndication) it basically is a protocol to follow updates on websites. Many websites have RSS feeds, and if you follow a RSS feed you get the updates in your RSS reader. So if you follow the RSS feed of your favorite newspaper, every time they add a new news item, you will see it in your reader.

RSS up & down

RSS was created at the beginning of this century, but became really big when Google introduced Google Reader, a free tool for following RSS feeds. That was also the time many websites added RSS feeds. Unfortunately Google stopped with Google Reader in 2013, that was also the moment many people (including me) thought RSS was dead, and social media like Twitter had overtaken the role.

RSS never died

However RSS never died. Other RSS apps & rss services like Feedbin, Feedly, Reeder, Inoreader and many more filled the gap. Some of them with very advanced options and some simple and straightforward. But for many years RSS has been a bit of a niche play for people consuming a lot of information or wanting to be on top of specific topics. For the majority of people social media had taken over the role.

Now is the time for RSS again

Now, with all of the discussions around X, information algorithms, mis-information etc. I think there is a new place for RSS. Following the sources you trust gives you information you can rely on. No algorithm that is pushing specific info. No advertisement. It’s just the headlines of your favorite newspapers and magazines that are presented. Most news sources still offer RSS. Also ActivityPub applications like Mastodon have RSS built in.

My use of RSS

I am using a free program called NetNewsWire. It has apps for Mac, iPad & iPhone and syncs all information across the devices using iCloud. I use it on all 3 devices, and I am happy to have my clutter free and advertising free feeds always at hand. You can group your feeds in categories, and easily share interesting articles on your socials or other ways. If you are looking for more advanced use of RSS, a paid service like Feedly is worth looking at.

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Harry van den Bergh

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