Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/30/information-diet-advice.html


#2

I follow bOINGbOING primarily through RSS. In fact, that’s how I found this post!


#3

RSS isn’t just a syndication standard though. Like email, It’s a model for the way the internet can and should work. Standard communication formats creating the groundwork for a blossoming ecosystem of clients. I want RSS to succeed to prove that this is the future of the internet.

I’m a web developer at a nonprofit, and we have a massive database that has a lot of it’s own functionality for events, personal consultation, person-level profiles, organizations, etc… and we are constantly interfacing with web clients that other people use for these purposes. I’m pushing our people to put as much work into data standardization and communication with partners as we do building our own client interfaces. Hopefully that will pay off.

If anything will save us from walled gardens of social media, it will be a non-profit consortium that miraculously standardizes the skeletons of social media posting and a protocal for echanging them, so that anyone can use any client to post/read and make connections. Yeah, I know how that sounds.


#4

“If you go after entertainment, you’re not competing against other reader news tools. You’re really competing with Instagram and other things people do to kill time,” says Khodabakchian.

I’m sure that’s true in a business sense, but I came here from a link in my Feedly “Entertainment” feed. Still better than anything my wife comes up with on Facebook, to the point where she had me set her up with it as well.


#5

After Google Reader went away, I used Feedly for a bit. I found it lacking some features. I switched to Commafeed and run it on a micro instance on ec2 now. If you have programming/devops skills and want a fun weekend project, give it a try.


#6

Also a Feedly user here, especially as it syncs across devices and even between the browser, the reader on my iPad and the reader on my Google Nexus 5 phone. Never trusted G+ or Facething or Twiddler for my news stuff. Those have other uses.


#7

I got shot of rss because you either store data or don’t…
so is it in better form


#8

“The Old Reader”, really? I use this:


#9

After I realized how many features Feedly paywalled - I really missed search - and fearing that the number of readers meant that some might die, I started looking for self-hostable options too. Commafeed was a bit too minimalist/barebones for me (though it does give me search).

I’m using FreshRSS. It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot of configuration options. It works nicely on mobile. I get search and stars and it just works nicely. Even better, may I recommend a docker container for setting it up fast? And then, if you want https, a reverse proxy via letsencrypt-nginx-proxy-companion (kinda painful to configure), Traefik (a little less painful to configure), or my personal favorite easy solution, Synology NAS’s Application Portal (which requires a Synology NAS, but is the only decent web-UI configurable proxy I’ve seen)?


#10

Can I give a shout-out to Inoreader? I tried lots of others after Google Reader went away, but this is the only one that ever felt quite right to me. Desktop and app versions, both.


#11

After Google burned up reader I moved over to a few locally hosted web apps then eventually settled into Digg Reader… as of last week they killed their product. I’ve moved over to BAZQux Reader: https://bazqux.com it costs $19 /year and has a 30 day trial. I’m very happy with it so far.

I enjoy RSS and hope sites (like yours) continues to support it. It’s the best way to continue to get my content otherwise I’d never remember to check sites.


#12

It looks like FreshRSS runs fine on a Pi, so I’ll throw it on my Pi cloud and give it try. (I’ve already done the pain for https.)


#13

I thought it was a mistake for Google to kill Reader at the time, and it only looks like a bigger mistake as time goes on. Now that there is a mounting backlash against Facebook, one of Google’s best-ever offerings isn’t there to capitalize.

It’s baffling. You’d think that, from a big-data surveillance-capitalist point of view, a user-directed feed reader would be extremely inviting, producing different insights into a person’s preferences and behavior than Facebook’s tightly controlled experience could.


#14

I still prefer to scroll through the content of the few websites I follow, so I’m on The Old Reader, which is also how I read BoingBoing. I suppose if I were following a whole bunch of sites, I’d use something more complicated, but I have little interest in adding a social aspect to every article.


#15

After Google Reader was killed, I set up my own instance of the open source Tiny Tiny RSS (TT-RSS https://tt-rss.org/) at a hosting account and have never looked back. While hosting your own isn’t for everyone, the tool has been incredibly stable, strieghtforward to set up, full of features and decoupled from commercial concerns.


#16

I never stopped using RSS, even when Google killed off Reader - I moved to Feedly to continue my subscriptions. I was never interested in making things like Twitter my source for news.


#17

Another vote for Newsblur.

There’s restricted free access to it, but it’s really meant to let you try it out before you sign up than as way to use it forever.

It’s definitely worth paying for it to me instead of paying with time supporting my own instance of something (which could even be Newsblur, he publishes the source). Bonus, since the business model is primarily paid accounts with free being for marketing instead of primary free accounts with paid being for power users, it’s very clear that I’m the customer and not the product. From both the way my data is treated and the way everything functions. Bonus, I know the dog get’s to eat.


#18

I’ll throw in a plug for Tiny Tiny RSS, which is very full-featured given its name.

I got fed up with feedly and was delighted how easy this was to set up on my vhost.


#19

Also, good old Thunderbird handles RSS feeds nicely.


#20

I’m a bit confused by the restrictions for Feedly mentioned in the article. I’ve been using it since the death of Google Reader and I’ve never paid for it and have at times been following far more than 100 sources (hell at one point I was following more than 100 webcomics) and definitely have them arranged into more than 3 feeds.