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Ask HN: Is the disappearance of RSS feeds affecting your happiness too?
20 points by smoyer 39 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments
In the last week, there have been almost a dozen articles posted here that I found interesting enough to want to read more from the author. In each case, the only way I could subscribe to their blog was to sign-up by providing them with my email address. Worse yet, these systems require that you verify your email before they start sending you SPAM. I only want to know when you publish something new ... I didn't sign up to have you send me advertising!

The RSS protocol was specifically designed to allow this type of subscription and it works great. I've got many blogs I've been following this way for 15+ years (Dave Winer, who occasionally posts to HN has one of the oldest). It's even more disturbing when RSS feeds disappear and I end up with 404 errors in my reader. This has also happened for a couple of RSS feeds that serve podcasts (Spotify and Pandora aren't helping this trend).

I have a couple ideas that I've started working on to counteract this trend but before spending too much time on them, I wanted to see whether anyone else was feeling this pain. Depending on the response, perhaps I'll share these ideas at some point in the discussion.

Yes, it’s annoying. But many sites have RSS feeds that they don’t advertise. For example, almost all sites based on Wordpress have an RSS feed that you can get to by appending ‘/feed/’ to the site’s URL. For example, if the site is hosted at ‘example.org’, ‘example.org/feed/’ will give you the RSS feed. Appending ‘comments/feed/’ instead will give you an RSS feed for the site’s comments.

And for podcasts that are listed on iTunes or SoundCloud, you can use http://getrssfeed.com/ to extract the URL to the RSS feed.

BTW, even Hacker News has an RSS feed, at https://news.ycombinator.com/rss. (If you’re on Android, I recommend using the Materialistic app instead, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.github.hidr...)

For reading RSS feeds in general, I prefer rss2email (https://github.com/rss2email/rss2email) to normal RSS readers. You get each new post as an e-mail (HTML or plaintext, with support for digest mode).

I think that although RSS isn't being advertised publicly on most of the sites anymore, it's still usable. I'm using Feedly and whenever I come across a blog or a website I like and want to follow, I just paste the URL there and it automatically finds the RSS for me.

Yeah I’ve found very few sites I want to follow don’t have an RSS feed.

It’s definitely out of fashion to link it prominently but it’s usually in the meta data still.

I rarely find a developer website without RSS. Most blogging platforms provide RSS either natively or via plugin. If a website does not offer an RSS feed and I _really_ want to follow it, I will ask the author.

Shameless plug: I've created a Tip of the Day platform [1] specifically with RSS in mind.

[1] https://tips.darekkay.com

I am having the opposite experience. I am running into quite a few developer websites and blogs running on what appear to be one-off homegrown platforms that lack RSS.

Isn't RSS magical!

* Shameless plug *: Our web service, Feedity - https://feedity.com, helps create custom RSS feeds for any webpage, even social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), via an online feed builder and REST API.

Don't worry I'm building a tool that will allow you to do this with any resource. RSS preferably but if they don't offer that option so be it, you'll still get the new updates promptly. Self-hosted of course.

I came here by way of newsblur, and I haven't had issues with adding a site to it and letting them find the RSS feed.

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