No, it does not.
The point of RSS is that you subscribe all your interests which you consciously come into contact with. You then have a steady stream of content waiting at your fingertip.
The solution for "1000 unread articles" is to have a shift of perspective in your mind, that it is okay if you cannot get to all the knowledge and information in the world. This is, as long as you have prioritized your reading lists properly.
Content not wrapped in ads, isn't good for business. Period.
The creativity unleashed by hackers with unfettered access to Twitter's RSS payload was legendary.
I loved RSS. I still do. I still use Shaun Inman's Fever RSS every day. It is really unfortunate that he has discontinued it, the guy is an artist at the highest level, but I get it.
RSS would be all but dead today if it wasn't for Wordpress's universal support of it. Major props to Matt Mullenweg and everything he stands for.
It should have become the backbone of the web and Dave Winer and Aaron Swartz more celebrated for it.
Instead it is just a footnote. A story of a time before everything digital was wrapped in glorious, money making ads and companies discovered charging for API calls as a business model.
Because reading from an RSS source required you to have an RSS reader of sorts and there was some configuration required on the users' part - Install a client/setup an online tool, this was an extra (rather complicated) step as compared to say, simply going to Facebook and subscribing to a page you like with the click of a button.
Now, I'm not discounting the possibility it may have been killed strategically by the internet giants, because it's not in their interest, but I do believe Google Adsense (at that time) did allow you to publish ads into your RSS feeds somehow. So, maybe they killed it because of poor adoption rates and the configuration required to setup one?
It could have taken another direction. We increasingly saw the embedding of the page Like button as we saw the decline of "Subscribe" button for RSS. So we moved from an open protocol and an ecosystem of "readers" to a propietary "protocol" and fenced-off news feeds.
I don't think the lack of incorporating ads in an RSS feed was a reason either. I think google just passively responded to the rise of blogs/rss with tools like Reader/feedburner/adsense-in-feeds, they didn't push for the greater vision that RSS implied.
I think open protocols need time, and we didn't get the time we needed before Facebook arrived...
Up until a few years ago Safari supported RSS natively: there was a button you could click and a native RSS url would open in your browser that you could read and filter and everything.
Nowadays the alternative in Safari is "reader" mode, which removes all the website styling and leaves just the main content and also the notifications API, which allows you to subscribe to a site (if they support it) and get notified of new content without even opening your browser.
I didn't really use RSS and don't use the replacements either. I really like the idea of RSS and I think it's worth implementing for people who like it, but I never found it useful for myself.
>I still use Shaun Inman's Fever RSS every day
Preciseness of language. The reports of RSS demise are greatly exaggerated.
Most sites, even those NOT using Wordpress, still publish RSS. This includes every major platform that I can think of.
Shopify, Magento, Blogger...The list goes on...
Every website I've tried to subscribe to has had a feed of some sort that Feedly can pick up. I don't think RSS is dead at all.
RSS is actually a great, sustainable way for independent bloggers to deliver targeted ads to their readers. Daring Fireball comes to mind, but there are many other examples.
Is there some inherent value in having isolated the point of $thing, for all or even a majority of users, that makes it so desirable and common in discussions? Is the author's experience with RSS improved if they read your comment?
Both of you have identified a workflow that works for you; it seems useful to share "I've found that subscribing to too many feeds means if I'm not careful, I'm overwhelmed by the number of unread articles", or "I solve this by prioritizing what I read from my RSS feed and by accepting I won't get to all of it".
But when the pitch is ~"you're using $tool wrong, what you need is a shift of perspective in your mind," it comes off as far more combative than I suspect you intend to be.
By never letting you know what is coming next, _the endless feed_ never makes you feel bad about your current information processing potential, relative to last week when you subscribed to 12 obscure blogs.
Information not interesting? Scroll. Information feeding your insatiable hunger? Scroll. You’ll never know how much there is, or how much there was.
I'm feeling this kind of intentional obtuseness going on in this thread. Like, this solution for RSS has been solved a very long time ago. Now we're talking about it being a bug?
Good digest would only exist on aggregating technologies like RSS.
Now, if you haven't found any free alternatives that are as good, you've likely subscribed to some emails to keep up, go to the website often to check if anything is new, keep up on twitter/fb if there is a page/profile or just don't bother anymore with content you would actually have been interested in if it was easier to get. The most reliable reader I've found on Linux is liferea, and it works, but I wish it had pluggable sorting mechanisms, based on how popular an entry is.
Subscribing information via email is atrocious. Newsletter subscription via email is okay. I still don't know how people follow any kind of information (while keeping their sanity) via Twitter (tit for tat feuds) and/or Facebook (my friends and family do not generate good information for me to consume - sorry).
This is why I went with Newsblur.com, which is open source: https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur
In the worse case I just run my own instance.
Personally, I think it's a big loss that we have moved away from the RSS format specifically, and the open web generally.
Facebook has an aardvark-shaped graph:
Android is on decline:
But Instagram is still in ascendance: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=instagra...
I wonder if you can really draw conclusions from any of this?
Anyone have a better source for actual RSS usage?
The best alternative that I've found is Feedly, which can show ads inline.
It sucks that the content producer doesn't get any ad revenue, but it also sucks that the only way they can get paid involves tracking me and building a profile despite my wishes.
On the other hand, I've found that non-profits / independently-funded researchers produce most of the best RSS feeds, and I happily donate to the non-profits.
It has always been like that for some websites, and I haven't seen an increase of these kind of RSS feeds.
The RSS feed is the guestbook of web 2.0, it comes along for the ride with the shitty page generator.
Choosing between evils, Google seems a better bet then Facebook, ofcourse, but these actions they've taken will backfire for them eventually. The more "open" and "accessible" web, should be in their benefit, long term thinking.
But what I see, what they're busy with is self driving cars, google glasses, augmented reality and all of that: GREAT.
But supporting some basic, easy, cheap, webstandards, they're just completely neglecting and they might up being the next AT&T, or IBM.
They do have some charm offensives going ("Google News Lab") and, well, basically any big tech corp looks better then Facebook -- if you care about the internet in it's current form, Google is really screwing us over. I really am convinced Google is completely losing it's way.
There's no real good quick adequate alternative that I can think of, but they could've just done things so much better, and it would've costed them, quite literally, nothing.
We are treating these companies as if they are sports teams. No, we don't have to choose between evils.
> The more "open" and "accessible" web, should be in their benefit, long term thinking.
An open Internet is only in the benefit of small and medium companies and startups.
Companies like Google have virtually unlimited resources at their disposal. All doors are open for them, all possible loopholes are within reach. When all else fails they can just drop a couple of billion $ and nobody can say no to that.
> We are treating these companies as if they are sports teams. No, we don't have to choose between evils.
This is very very slightly OT but I've asked this exact question within HN comments before and never really received any satisfactory answers...
Yes, I fully agree that it shouldn't and doesn't need to be a choice between the two sports teams, but even in a hypothetical world where it was, how on earth is anyone presuming that the infinitely pervasive Google is somehow more ok than the very opt-outable facebook?
Everything you've said is true, but not really relevant to this particular discussion I think?
Not that I think either company is actually evil obviously.
i.e. I might choose evil that offers me value if I thought the trade off was worthwhile.
Yes, you can opt out from getting an account and using their applications; the worse part is all of the "shadow profiles" and third-party tracking which is pretty much everywhere these days :(
In contrast, opting out of Google is a largely unviable feat for most.
- Google provides a geolocation service for applications to locate you by triangulating you relative to nearby wifi hardware. This sends data to Google about your devices wifi hardware and the ssids it detects. This isn't an in website feature, so normal content blocking doesn't help, it will be an application setting. Firefox and Safari both used to use this (Mozilla have now created a competing service).
- Google provides suspicious site screening services ("safe browsing" advisories) to many applications, including browsers.
- Google hosts most of the CT logs. I'm actually not 100% sure how the mechanism works here in detail, so this may eb a red herring, but it seems to be that browsers may periodically send a list of https sites you visited to these log servers to audit the certs for those sites
- Google provides free fast DNS which sends all of your DNS traffic to their servers. This may be set by the administrator of the network you're connecting through.
- Google analytics is used by many non-browser applications, and also in areas of the browser not covered by content blockers, e.g. Firefox's add-ons settings page.
- Many sites use Google js cdns and ajax apis for required functionality, so a content blocker will need to set whitelists to get the site to work.
- there are more such things, these are just examples
Facebook does none of the above.
Something like Decentraleyes will help with the cdns and a custom firewall, hosts file, filtering proxy or things like Little Snitch can help with some of the others but none of these are trivial.
For example like many people here I have multiple acquired domains — for personal projects, plus I also devised a scheme for my online safety — I prefer for each online account I make to have its own email address.
FastMail does sub-domain aliasing by default, so if you have domain.com, you can make an email alias like email@example.com and then you can use firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.
For one this allows you to keep spam in check and track its source. People say that Gmail's spam filters are really good, but that's not true. Gmail's spam filters are at the same time overly aggressive, with legitimate email ending up in the Spam folder far too often and doesn't do a good job at detecting optimized spam. E.g. when I was on Google Apps, my address was bombarded with email from "SEO specialists" that wanted to "optimize my website for HTML5" or other such crap. This is because I made the mistake of not protecting my domain with PrivacyGuard.
Another reason for unique email addresses are that they make the accounts more secure. If you find the email address that I use for Twitter, you won't necessarily know the email address I use for Facebook. It's like with passwords, the emails I use being in my 1Password (although due to the scheme used I remember them).
FastMail makes this very easy and natural. You can't do it with free Gmail obviously (it does plus aliasing, but that's shit). You can do it by configuring GSuite with complex email routing rules. But then the Gmail client itself will fight you, because you cannot configure a dynamic "From" address.
Also Gmail on mobile is polished and good, but not their website. If you ever find yourself on a device without a configured client on it, then FastMail's web client on mobile actually works and is very good.
And on iOS FastMail has been doing push notifications for some time. Don't know what deal they did with Apple, but you can use iOS's Mail client with push notifications via FastMail. I heard a rumor that iOS 11 finally fixed the Gmail integration to do push notifications. I have two work Gmail accounts on my phone and have seen no such evidence.
Don't get me wrong, I like Google's products, but their superiority is overblown. I like FastMail more than I like Gmail and I use them both on a daily basis. And Dropbox is superior to Google Drive. Google Drive is simply shit that doesn't work and that I cannot trust with my files.
A lot of people here use Chrome. Well, I'm using Firefox and I think Firefox Quantum is now the superior browser.
I've been an Android user for a long time and I like Android's openness. However Android is really bad at privacy. I simply don't trust applications on Android, unless they are open source or from a very well known brand. Android also doesn't do Caldav and Carddav by default, you have to install apps from the Play store for it. But I find that to be unacceptable.
Google Docs is really good for collaborative editing, the best actually, however their spreadsheets quickly show their limits with big documents.
Google Hangouts is shit, nobody uses it and I'll never forgive them for killing their XMPP service in preference for the current Hangouts.
Google Maps is good, but don't go through Bulgaria with it because the coverage there is piss poor and you'll find yourself on really bad roads in the middle of nowhere. I noticed OpenStreetMaps is better in many parts of Europe.
Overall they fare well in quality, but superior they are not. Except for their search engine.
- Facebook is tracking you over the whole web, building shadow profiles on everybody 
- Facebook is known to have conducted illegal and unethical experiments on manipulating people's emotions via the timeline. Let that sink in for a moment 
- Facebook is known to have had a partnership with Disqus for tracking users 
- Facebook is buying and aggregating user data from data brokers 
- Facebook already knows your friends because it knows their address book 
- Facebook's tracking through Like buttons all across the web is violating EU law 
- Any of your friends can give Facebook access to your data 
We can go on btw, the web is filled with details of their past transgressions. I have no doubts about this — Facebook is one of the most immoral companies to have ever existed and time will prove me right.
And yes, Google has a lot of potential for abuse, but they haven't fucked up so badly yet. We don't need to guess how they compare, the evidence is right there.
Again, I'm not defending Facebook. I'm only stating that Google is worse terms of pervasive unavoidable tracking. What each of them do with that data (e.g. emotional manipulation) is an important, but slightly separate topic.
To address some of your references:
3 and 4 are real problems and probably the only thing you can never really opt out of with any provider.
8 is actually an old article on a feature since (thankfully) removed. However, even when it was there, it still only involved sharing data you had already volunteered to Facebook.
6 is aggregating data on who you are but not explicitly tracking, unless/until it's actually cross-referenced with 3 and 4, so isn't a problem in isolation
The rest are trivially blockable with any content blocker (some of which even come built in to some browsers these days)
And yes, I do think for any company out there crawling the web, RSS feeds are a good indicator. Ofcourse, Google algorithms got to the point that they don't really need RSS feeds anymore, but that's perhaps also the reason why quite often their search results kind of suck, as soon as you dive deeper.
The real problem, for all of us out here - is that no-one even bothers making a search engine anymore.
Everyone has given up. And Google can just do whatever they want. And that's exactly what they do.
Sure their search has improved too, but it's pull instead of the push model that RSS is. The social networks are no substitutes, though Twitter comes closer than FB because it doesn't have to deal with my other network posts when trying to surface content I would be interested in.
One may hope. FeedBurner is horrible. It wasn't great even when it was new, and Google's neglect of it coupled with the standard Google non-support black hole if anything breaks (as it regularly does) hasn't exactly made things better.
Hey guys, just because you don't think about or use RSS anymore doesn't mean the entire platform is dead and no one uses it, haha.
Jesus the hubris in this thread is insane. I have been using RSS via Feedly uninterrupted for 4 years and counting. No problems, haven't paid a dime, works great.
Yes, not as popular. Apparently losing mindshare these days is akin to actually not existing.
Now let me check my Alexa ranking.
Oh man, we can be friends.
Except I actually just have Twitter via a RSS feed. I wrote some code that generates RSS from Twitter lists and I consume it and filter it just the same as any other RSS feeds.
Part of me relishes that I no longer have that distraction, but another part of me feels guilty for eliminating that personal cost at the expense of reduced interaction with loved ones. (Our personal relationships have been co-opted for ad revenue -- what a time to be alive.)
I would love to just get an email once a week with a digest of stuff I've configured it to care about.
I am apparently in the vast minority as there seems to be no decent mobile app supporting lists effectively. I'm not sure if it's even possible given Twitter's token policies, and unfortunately they killed off TweetDeck's mobile ambitions an eternity ago.
TLDR I would love a mobile app that embraces Twitter lists as much as Tweetdeck does on the desktop.
Try as I might, I just don't spend enough time actively using Twitter to make it all that interactive, but I'd still like the ability to catch up in a read-only manner.
I often wish for the Open-Social equivalent of email. Anyone can host it, I can subscribe to people on different hosts. And if I don't like the way my feed is aggregating I can choose another.
This is a pretty good description of the Mastodon social-network model, there are several nodes, and your account on one node can subscribe to accounts on others. It's distributed in a kind of nntp-like way.
In my world, it made a pretty big splash about a year ago, but I've drifted away from it.
But there are two big problems. First, it doesn't add ads, as others have mentioned.
Second, it's really easy to unsubscribe. This is why so-called "newsletters" are sent as spam emails. RSS could do the job just fine. If the recipient really wanted the newsletter. The first time a "newsletter" sends out "NEW OFFER BIG SALE...", the recipient clicks "unsubscribe". They're unsubscribed then and there, will never read another item, and the sender can't do a thing about it. The sender doesn't even know they're gone.
RSS doesn't disempower the end user. Modern web technologies are designed to keep the user firmly under the thumb of advertisers. That's the problem with RSS.
I think this is more a problem of scale. Simple, text-based ads could work if the audience is very specific. For instance, you could start each item with a one or two line message by a sponsor. Ads could be purchased for a fixed amount or even on a pay-per-click basis if the url is a referral.
This could work brilliantly on a regional level I think. For instance, a local news paper could draw attention to a new restaurant that will open up soon, a sale at a mom&pop store and so on...
1. You have to get users to clickthrough to get your ad revenue, but you also need enough content in the RSS to encourage them to click at all. It feels like you put effort into this thing that prevents users from spot checking your website, which reduces your revenue. And you're hosting the RSS feed, too, so it costs bandwidth!
2. Twitter is easier to use (for you and your audience), is where the audience is, and is "good enough".
Twitter has advantages beyond just the links being shared - the tweets themselves are often interesting to me, and the list of people I follow has been carefully built over time to the point it would be annoying for me to switch again now.
I'm sure these are great options for others though, but I don't think I'm alone in using Twitter as a kind of curated RSS replacement.
I intended to have it track all links from people you follow too, to give a curated list of links, but Twitter was aggressively making changes to restrict their API so this became impossible.
Protocols and an open web over walled gardens.
Personally, I think the main reason RSS failed to get bigger adoption was a UX problem. Clicking on RSS and getting a page of code is just too confronting for most people. Thus it never managed to get the same adoption as other republishing buttons like Pin, Like or Share.
The related UX problem is that major browsers didn't have a built-in reader, so there is nothing with which to discover RSS.
To use RSS, you have to get some add-on like Brief for FireFox, or third-party app for Android. Or else use some website like Google Reader (I think that's dead now?).
Before you do that, in the first place, you have to know what the heck RSS is, and what are the benefits: why should you be installing this additional stuff for interacting with some hidden aspect of the web.
Browsers need to make it discoverable by alerting users, like by bringing up a bubble: "Hey, user! This web page's updating listings are available in a condensed RSS feed [learn more.] You can register the feed into my built-in feed reader, and then not only browse the items conveniently, but be alerted of new ones, search through the items, and delete ones you don't want."*
When we were recently looking, on Craigslist, for a bunch of different types of items simultaneously, I showed my wife RSS. From the beginning: how it is the condensed version of a web-site, and how you need a program to deal with it (went through an installation of Brief on Firefox). Then how you add feeds to the reader, and go look at them through the Brief toolbar button, etc. Then configuration: explaining how Brief just surfs the RSS periodically the same way that a human being refreshes a web page, and that the frequency can be configured, as well as how long the items are stored.
So after that she was using it daily, no problem, and mostly liking the convenience of just checking the feeds for what has dripped in, and being able to erase the duds, as if it were an e-mail inbox.
I think the button for RSS was shown by default in the past, but now you have to add it to the browser UI manually (presumably, it was hidden because no one used it).
I think the problem is in monetization, that's why FB and Twitter stopped offering them, and Google killed GReader too. It's not a coincidence that Twitter is having trouble monetizing, when it's the new way to get news. As a publisher and as a reader RSS makes perfect sense, but how do you build a generic infrastructure in between the two as a utility? This is essentially the question.
I suspect that most sites that have RSS feeds don't expose them intentionally. They just used some framework which automatically creates it. If they knew, they'd put an end to it. "What, someone can grab a list of our items without seeing the main page at all? Turn that shit off!"
Even though the items do contain links that beckon the user to that site, it still minimizes their interaction.
Even if you're ad-supported, I'm more likely to visit you if you have an RSS feed. Not to mention any non-profit or academic website could let people follow new developments easier.
How is going to a 3rd party site like Google Reader (yes, it's dead and damn Google for killing it) any less discoverable than going to WaPo or Facebook? I make a conscience effort to go consume these sites. I made a conscience decision to consume my information from Google Reader. Or it's replacement.
RSS buttons are (were?) right along side Facebook, Twitter, Google+ buttons 10 years ago. Not that difficult.
If Facebook suddenly announced an RSS component to their service, people would use it. I know when Google reader dropped their Google Reader service, there was a hue and cry about it. Google said the usage numbers were flat. I suspect in great part because Google's lessor products come and go all the damn time. If the product is not integrated into Gmail or YouTube, 99.9% of their user base does not know of the service's existence.
Facebook is discoverable because people invite you there, sites link to it, and you're often prompted to "log in with your Facebook account" into every damn thing you visit. People talk about Facebook; you hear it on the news, etc.
Facebook per se isn't discoverable. If Zuck had just registered "facebook.com", the domain, and put a server there and waited without promoting it, there would be no Facebook.
I still hold massive butthurt towards Google for abandoning Reader. It marked a pivot away from open technology platforms. Perhaps people don't know about RSS because Google / FB / Twitter prefer you not use it? These giants encourage passive consumption and discourage DIY curation of content. If I can currate my own content lists, I bypass their ad revenue generating framework, picking and choosing only those things I want to read. They receive no information about why I choose that specific article to read. I've made it a priority to trim my usage of Google to the extent possible. I dream of someday abandoning Gmail.
Good article from back in the day about the whys and wherefores of Google Reader's demise.
I used to use this A LOT back in the day, often finding it preferable to many site's native UIs.
What killed it for me personally though wasn’t the slow death of widespread RSS, but weirdly Twitter. Twitter can be a great news link replacement for RSS if you used RSS the way I did, as the links the people you follow share have been curated by those people themselves. I started to find a much better “hit rate” for content I wanted to read by seeing what influencers in industries I have an interest in share, rather than the hosepipe of stories that RSS was providing. I found I was still getting all the content I wanted without having to wade through all the noise, at which point I just stopped using RSS altogether.
I do however agree it is another sad indicator of a dying open web though.
Sure, it's XML. And had I been the one to design it from the start, I would have gone with JSON. But come on.
RSS has been losing ground because, deep down, people love the algorithms. I personally hate how algorithms artificially mangle content that I would have seen anyway if my "timeline" was chronological; it's annoying to me to have stories from hours or days prior to appear near the top of my feed because everyone has already seen the same thing by now and new comments are worthless/unseen after a givens tory is ~1.5 hours old.
and the XML wraps html-formatted articles, so unless you hate yourself, you'll need to be embedding a browser for rendering, which means bundling a browser too (even on certain browser embed providing platforms like win32, since it still uses IE11 as its browser embed)
of course its easy to generate RSS.
- - -
and thats nevermind the whole impossibility of getting all articles without a daemon on a separate server, especially for high-volume feeds
of course its easy to generate RSS
He didn't say that - just that people find JSON exciting. There are many things that have been rewritten in JSON just to become popular again, or things people have done long before but are exciting because they're now JSON.
What are some examples of concepts written for JSON that became more successful than their predecessor?
From RSS reader developer perspective (I'm author of BazQux Reader https://bazqux.com) problem with RSS/Atom is that there are many feed generators (and even handwritten feeds) each with its own understanding of standard or without understanding at all. And good feed reader need to handle many quirky issues to support all kinds of feeds.
With new feed format there will still be old bugs and problems (duplicating IDs, missing IDs, new IDs for the same posts, duplicated posts, misconfigured web servers, servers down and so on). And new format needs to duplicated efforts like MediaRSS for extended information about podcasts (which JSON Feed is missing).
Problem with RSS is not a format (end users won't read XML/JSON anyway) but needs of average user, time to setup, vogue, no profit for big players and so on. People, not tech problem.
This lets me focus in on my 1000s of other feeds, which have something interesting and valuable to say.
After Google Reader went "tits up" I switched to Inoreader (a web-based reader). Still using it quite happily.
Yes, the case of the disappearing feeds is something I wrote about recently - I believe it's all part of a plot to control the web...
And you could write your own little client program in like 100 lines of C#. That would aggregate all the various feeds. And download just the MP3 files overnight. Providing you with a tasty gigabyte-sized bouquet of rare bootlegs, unreleased demos, forgotten imports, and much more every morning.
Spotify playlists have supplanted that particular use case. But the design favors promotion. Pushing overlooked talent to the fore. And bubbling up gems that may have been subsumed in the volume of noise.
To find rarities, such as this classic R.E.M. set from the Paradise Theater in Boston, Summer '83 (where they opened for The Replacements). You have to stumble on it via Youtube. Or find a friend with an actual collection of old vinyl ;)
I wish he would've named even a handful of examples that prove the point. Even Medium offers RSS feeds for users, publications, and tags.
And also, RSS is also at the center of the enormous and growing medium of podcasting, which nearly a quarter of Americans enjoy every month.
RSS is the one way I keep track of the things I want and the speed I can follow, differently from Twitter.
At peak Google Reader I suffered from "inbox zero" syndrome and recall zapping through hundreds of posts a day (being full time student in dorms help with having free time). But something rss, email and social media have thought me is that you'll never see it all. So I never pay much attention to the vast majority of the dress I subscribe to.
I certainly look forward to more decentralized systems like rss in the future.
I still hold on to customizable aggregator protopage.com, though I wish iGoogle hadn't gone away. Also regularly check the fixed-selection aggregators like alltop and popurls, though the latter seems to have been abandoned.
Posts like this encouraging desktop clients are fine, but where is the slickly designed web client for RSS feeds? Until I find it, I'll stick with protopage.
We haven't officially launched yet, but we'd love to have you take a look and tell us what you think! You may hit a few snags here and there as we prep for a more robust launch; in the meantime feel free to reach out either to me personally (contact in profile) or through support at frontpage dot to. Hope you like it!
If so, that makes me sad, I rather like it. I am currently on my fourth iteration of building an RSS reader with a web UI, using a Bayes network to distinguish between interesting and boring articles. It is not very sophisticated, but it works well enough in filtering out the items I do not want to see.
Needless to say, this thing relies on RSS to fetch news items. Kind of what it was made for, as far as I could gather.
I'm speaking from our own experience running a little startup, Feedity - https://feedity.com, that helps create custom RSS feeds for any webpage.
Edit: Another big win, not needing yet another account to be tracked and targeted through just to get at a feed. Best example being YouTube.
I never earned anything from ads anyway (can't remember if I even activated them).
Anyone else would like to try?
As long as it isn't about "building an audience" and monetizing we could have blogrolls, links to post by other programmers and forget all about SEO nofollow etc etc.
I publish my Caller ID info from my landline to an RSS feed, and Feed Notifier was one of the only ones that would allow me to get updates almost realtime. The popups strike a good balance between useful amount if info and too obtrusive, and I like how it uses the site favicon to let you know which feed you're looking at at a glance.
I tried lots of methods on ios to get timely prompts, but 15 minutes seems to be about the best any of the apps I have found can do, and yes, they mostly seem to be bloated garbage with limited configuration options.
The other good option on Windows is, surprisingly, Outlook. The RSS feeds in there are quite good.
Sure today people are mostly focused on corporate run social media like Twitter or Facebook but nobody really likes them. Everyone is constantly bitching about their practices. And you can't really make money on Social Media, which means corporate run social media is going to die some day, when they all realize there's no cash in that expensive cluster of cows.
RSS is free, and everyone can use it, no matter what blogging software you use. Operating your own blog gives you more control over content and presentation, as well as smaller details such as how your commenting system works. It's the superior choice.
It's free. That's important. Nobody controls RSS. Anyone can write an RSS reader. Anyone can write a blog app that publishes RSS. This ensures it will be around to survive the rise and fall of social software trends. When the smoke clears and people emerge from the rubble of the corporate landscape, RSS will be there, welcoming them home.
footnote: I saw this article in my "Hacker News" RSS feed.