If you’re reading this you probably remember hearing about RSS in the early 2000s. If you don’t remember or never heard of RSS, you’re in for a treat. I’ve been using RSS pretty much every day for the past 16 years. While a lot of people have given up on RSS feeds and relied on social media, I’m here to say that it’s still great and the best way to keep up with what’s going on.
What is RSS?
To try to keep it really simple it’s a feed that allows you to subscribe to a web site. When you subscribe to a feed, each post/article is sent to you, instead of visiting a website to see it. This enables an email-like system where all your subscriptions come into one place using an application called an RSS reader.
Why would I want to use RSS?
Curating a list of RSS feeds is a great way to stay interested and up to date on certain web sites or blogs. You don’t have to deal with ads, pop-ups, clickbait, and social comments. You only read what you want to read. When you grow tired of a particular feed, you can delete it. Same goes when you discover something new. In a few clicks or taps, the information comes to you.
How I use RSS
I use the email client approach and treat my RSS reader like I do my email. Assess what comes in, read it if I want, delete if I don’t. The client I use also syncs over the cloud so that all my devices stay up to date and I don’t have to cull articles in multiples places.
What RSS feeds do I subscribe to?
Instead of visiting the same blog or news site over and over as things get posted, they come to me. A lot of what I subscribe to relates to my career and interests around technology, computers, and cyber security.
A sample-sized list of the feeds I subscribe to are below. Some of these are more talkative than others, but the beauty of RSS is once you subscribe, you don’t have to worry about missing a post.
Liss is More
The Hacker News
Using an RSS Reader
Just like email, you’ll need an app to read all your subscriptions and ideally one that syncs what you’ve read across your devices. I use the app News Explorer on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. When I read an article on one of those devices, the app syncs that progress to the cloud, allowing me to pick up another device and keep my place. Another well-known and well-reviewed app for RSS is NetNewsWire. I’ve tried it years ago, but at the time didn’t have the features I came to apprecaite from NewsExplorer.
Keep it Real Simple
If you’re interested in RSS and want to avoid ads, tracking, and Twitter, keep it simple. Start with a few of your favorite web sites or blogs and see how you like it. NewsExplorer has a built-in feature to search for RSS feeds based on your search terms, that way you don’t have to go exploring for RSS links. If that doesn’t work for you, there are some good aggregation sites like FeedSpot that will give you links based on a category.
The Best RSS Feed
If you’re looking for the best feed to subscribe to, look no further than The Beard Blog.