RSS was a revelation for blogging and online media; we got our first RSS feed in 2001 and I have relied heavily on RSS feeds to write this site (and stay informed) for nearly two decades now; in 2005, Google bet heavily on RSS with its Google Reader product, which quickly eclipsed every other reader, so that by the time they killed it in 2013, there wasn't anything sophisticated, robust and well-maintained to switch to.
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From the delightful R Stevens of Diesel Sweeties fame, a pair of excellent enamel pins: Computers Professional ($11.33) and I want to believe in RSS ($11.55).
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The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation publishes several excellent podcasts, notably the As It Happens feed; like every podcast in the world, these podcasts are available via any podcast app in the same way that all web pages can be fetched with all web browsers -- this being the entire point of podcasts. Read the rest
RSS represents the antithesis of this new world: it’s completely open, decentralized, and owned by nobody, just like the web itself. It allows anyone, large or small, to build something new and disrupt anyone else they’d like because nobody has to fly six salespeople out first to work out a partnership with anyone else’s salespeople.
That world formed the web’s foundations — without that world to build on, Google, Facebook, and Twitter couldn’t exist. But they’ve now grown so large that everything from that web-native world is now a threat to them, and they want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it. Get it out of the way so they can get even bigger and build even bigger proprietary barriers to anyone trying to claim their territory.
Well, fuck them, and fuck that.
Lockdown [marco.org] Read the rest
It wouldn't be a sexy subject were it not for the imminent demise of "market" leader Google Reader, but Mat Honan's article about Digg's replacement service is a must-read.
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The core Digg experience is one of discovery: It constantly has to be showing you something new to work. ... This is where it gets neat: If Digg had its own news reader, it could immediately identify which stories people were actually reading—not just what they click on.
Google has announced the imminent shutdown of Google Reader, effective July 1. I use Reader every day, often as the back-end for other RSS reader apps, like the excellent Newsrob for Android, and it's the core of how I blog and stay informed -- over the past several years, I've gradually shifted over from bookmarked tab-groups to feeds -- I used to have hundreds of the former, now it's more like a hundred, and my feeds have ballooned into the thousands.
Various forums have vigorous discussions of Reader readers should do next. Reddit, Hacker News and Lifehacker all give high marks to Newsblur, where I've had a paid account for quite some time. I tried Newsblur a couple years back, and liked it at first blush, but at the time found it too slow and not well enough integrated into Android for my taste. Apparently, both of those issues have improved a lot since those days, though at the moment the whole site appears to be slow due to the enormous attention it's received since the Reader shutdown notice.
What do you use for RSS?
Official Google Reader Blog: Powering Down Google Reader Read the rest