With that said, I think there are some interesting opportunities for turning certain types of email into RSS feeds generally. I think it'd be really cool to have all of the random and very low priority emails landing at the 101 spare domain names I have to turn up in a single feed somehow rather than be forwarded.
I bet a general mail-rss bridge with many subscribers would make them sad.
- from the BBC article 'Spy pixels in emails have become endemic'
The work 512Kb Kilostream line passed away peacefully sometime overnight. My home modem nearly melted but I'd exceeded my 10Mb? quota anyway (probably less.)
Apparently I was the first to do that there. GroupWise sprouted loop detection fairly soon after that event anyway and single instance storage helped keep the POAs up when reply all storms became popular.
I'd probably subscribe to more via RSS, but as it is it's just Matt Levine.
I instead of relying on email as a real time news feed. But getting too many emails I have to category and make miss some exciting development news.
I though of this, why not combine all of the newsletter and display them on a single page, easy to remember URL that I can check anytime.
And make this:
The idea is I can have many channel, each channel subscribe to a bunch of newsletter and I just read them from here. Example my morning news:
I actually really like the idea of being able to convert newsletters into RSS feeds. I have a decent amount of newsletter I currently get and for a lot of them the only reason I have them in newsletter form is because they offered no RSS option. So if I wanted to stay up to date one of my only options was newsletters.
But for me, the more import aspect is being in charge when to use a tool than what the tool is and having habits around it.
(But I use Feedly.com web site on computer and Feedly app on phone now which is easier for managing RSS than Thunderbird by a mile. Though looking below there is Export/Import of feeds, I'm not sure there's a way to just sync them up everywhere. And I don't use Thunderbird on my phone!)
I’ve switched to NewsBlur a few years ago. Happy paying customer. (But bot affiliated). The bonus is synchronized phone/laptop/desktop reading status.
I have to confess: little automations like this with low barrier of entry is where I find most value in tech. Simple and practical.
You may be fine with your solution so this comment is more geared towards others who are interested in a similar solution.
I am sure managed RSS platforms also offer some kind of email digest if you don't want to self-host.
The "email digest" approach is basically DIY newsletter. While this approach works for me, it may not work well for others. YMMV.
(I hunted this down by clicking through to his bio first. Not sure why he doesn't put a link to it on the kill-the-newsletter front page)
(Not associated with the author in any way. Just a happy user)
The paid versions of Feedly and Feedbin also offer this functionality directly if you prefer to pay for the privilege of consuming newsletters in your RSS reader.
I'm reminded of 15-20 years ago, when there were services to create RSS feeds of webcomics that didn't have them.
Thanks polm23 for posting and everyone else for the nice words!
I'm an avid user of RSS and Atom, and I absolutely loathe email subscriptions (although I understand why many groups use them), so a tool to remove that friction for admittedly rare people like me is wonderful. Thank you for running this service, I intend to use it quite a lot!
Also, you can support me: Recurring (Patreon): https://patreon.com/leafac / One-time (PayPal): https://paypal.me/LeandroFacchinetti
In terms of server costs, it all runs smoothly on a $6/month DigialOcean droplet. Even when I end up on the front-page of HN (it’s the second time this happens). And there’s also the ~$10/year for the domain.
There’s actually a fun story behind this: The biggest constraint is bandwidth (~500GB/month). I was using S3 and at some point that’d amount to $50/month. But DigitalOcean droplets give you 1TB/month, so to save money I rearchitected the whole thing to just use the filesystem. It turned out to be simpler and nicer to maintain, too. Fewer moving parts.
There are other newsletter publishers, of course, but that seems to be the one I get the most from.
I want to stay up to date with what is happening in ML (and in the world) but don’t want to burn time manually opening up RSS readers, RedditML or news websites every day, given all their abusive time-stealing distractions and soul-crushingly dumb comments. I strongly prefer a weekly or daily carefully curated summary automatically delivered to my inbox. Hopefully these curated e-mail newsletters will become a thing again.
-Let me highlight / add notes.
-Randomly add things not in my usual RSS feeds, i.e. from some website I'm browsing.
-Listen to articles via text to speech.
-Work well across web, iOS and Android.
I've been less and less happy with Pocket as it's clear that it's become less of a priority for Mozilla.
1. Mixing different applications in one inbox would be a mess for a lot of people (e.g. your IM would drown out important work email)
2. Privacy - avoiding unique online identifiers when they're not needed is a good idea
Sure, a little snarky but I'm getting my point across. We have different tools because different situations require different tools. IM exists because it is used differently than email, and email is not well suited to real time back and forth short messages. Atom and RSS feeds exist because honestly someone doesn't need to know your email address for you to take an interest in what they publish.
As a content creator, I also would love to see the comeback of RSS VS email, as services like mailchimp can get expensive really fast for projects that not seek profit like a personal blog.
A simple wordpress, ghost or even blogspot scales more cheaply than all the requirements for massive email.
RSS and Atom are great. And I wish I could get every newsletter as feed instead. Emails get lost in the daily avalanche, but RSS/Atom feeds know to wait until I have time to read. But they're already beset by problems with lack of adoption. Any alternative syndication tool is going to make it even harder to reach your audience.
I'd also be careful about platforms like Medium. I wanted to like Medium, I really did, but the algorithmic feed's constant stream of clickbait quickly grew tiring. I ended up muting it, newsletters and all. It seems to me that any platform that has an algorithm is setting up a hostile environment for people who don't enjoy producing or consuming clickbait.
It basically extends Atom/RSS to have another feature. Clients that don't support it can still pull like normal. Wikipedia summarizes the technology a bit nicer than the first link 
Some people have good control over their email inbox. Some don't.
All of this headache, however, is eliminated if you just move this sort of content to a decent feed reader to begin with, where every single option out there has filtering options baked in.
Related - Is there anything that can add the select number of Twitter accounts I want to follow to this Atom or RSS feed?
Without exposing myself to toxic replies, toxic suggested tweets and toxic trending topics? I've thought for years there should be something like that. Presumably it's a grey area with APIs or scraping.
It’s a shame that many of the tools and features we had a decade ago no longer exist, not because of technology, but because of decisions social networks made for business reasons to eschew open standards and create their own walled gardens.
The only benefit I can see even for non-personalized newsletters is that you have it in your mailbox and can use your normal email filtering tools to deal with newsletter messages.
Is this the same class of privacy issue as, say, subscribing to a print journal that is delivered directly to your place of residence (as opposed to a post office box)? I think you could even argue that using anonymized email addresses for your newsletter subscriptions could be the digital equivalent of a PO box, right?
The PO box analogy kinda falls apart unless you use a separate PO box per subscription but you're right, email aliases protect you from any kind of advertiser profiling. Feeds are just nice because they're simple HTTP requests so they don't have that problem in the first place (unless you're worried about IP-based tracking and don't use any kind of proxy).
If I can just use Atom/RSS over HTTP instead I can avoid that easily.
99% of my inboxes are emails from non-humans. I'm ready to stream them like RSS or Twitter.. and catch the ones I care about.
My favourite is the format of all content: is it HTML or text? RSS doesn’t care, and leaves you to guess. So people added a namespace to fix that up, and you end up with what I think is normally spelled <content:encoded> to replace <description> or whatever it is—but there’s no equivalent for other content fields like titles. And because you can’t trust that tool will use <content:encoded>, now you need both. (And when you get to podcasts, the theme of the day is having the same field expressed in four or five different namespaces for different tools, in some cases for things that Atom has but RSS lacks.)
I have an article on my blog entitled <_>::v::<_>. I expect that a few RSS readers would mangle it if I served an RSS feed, but I serve an Atom feed, so I can express the title correctly:
I hate the way that feeds are so commonly generically called “RSS”, because it gives mindshare to the bad and inferior product.
The only reason you should ever use RSS feeds is because you’re dealing with podcasts, because Apple sadly ignored the emerging Atom format when they did podcasts in iTunes in 2005, and annoyingly froze things in time there and then, and everyone else stupidly followed them, so that most of the major podcast things don’t support Atom… even if they sometimes claim to. (Like validation tools that allege that Atom is fine, butcher it completely if you give it to them, and report false results like that this RSS feed is fine or whatnot.)
It is, however, too picky about atom/rss - if you have a feed with some wrong entries (e.g. the one from freshcode.club) it will discard the problem items without a warning while still showing the valid items.
The only reason I can think of is that people often use RSS synonymously to feeds.
Atom is the better format, but - like any time you work with XML - you should never try to hand-bomb string output. Use an XML library, or preferably an Atom library.
The "advantages" are minor at best, and exclusively relevant to a developer, with very little impact on the end-user
I have one or two things in my feeds that can’t be expressed in RSS, such as HTML markup in my titles (which I use for <strong>, <code> and I think <em>). I also have angle brackets in a title, which I would be afraid to do in RSS because I’m confident that some clients would butcher it, and they wouldn’t even be wrong since RSS don’t care.
RSS doesn’t say what format any of its content is in. You have to guess if it’s plain text or HTML. This can easily go wrong. The result is that you can’t trust the handling of characters like <, & and > in titles or in supposedly-plain-text descriptions in RSS feeds.
Seriously, just use Atom.
As for CDATA, I think you're right that it'd work in this case (assuming that client apps cope with it there, but if the Atom equivalent works then presumably it should).
I suspect that what we're looking at here is software which is poorly generating its RSS. Probably Wordpress, since I'm at least fairly confident that it doesn't put CDATA in its item titles regardless of their content.
Why would you consider RSS over Atom (you seem to exhibit a preference but you have also neglected to list any of the reasons)?
Which would presumably be why the developer chose it, yes.
1. Newsletter formatting sometimes gets broken and comes out ugly
2. For longer newsletters or digests I sometimes skim too fast since I'm used to having single articles in rss feed. I guess this is more a comment on my reading habits with rss.
Can we stop (subtly in this case, not so subtly in others) crusading against tech that we don't personally like, when thousands upon thousands rely on it because that's the format they're comfortable with and want to receive periodicals in?
Set up a system that meets people where they are instead of forcing them into only your preferred delivery flavour.
It's a perfectly fine tool, but "kill the newsletter" is an incredibly bad rallying cry and should be questioned.
I really want my inbox back, but I feel like I'm constantly battling lists I get subscribed to that I didn't ask to be subscribed to.
People who flame a format they don't like are just trying to ensure that their preferred one stays relevant. I am not a fan of email subscription and I love Atom and RSS. If I didn't constantly remind people about the pros of feeds and the cons of email subscriptions, before I know it most websites will drop feeds and pop up asking me to subscribe to their newsletter...
All email killers failed to kill email.
Same thing, works well. Newsletters are plague.
That really depends on how you use email. I always have a very empty email inbox and newsletters stay there until I read them (I'm talking about newsletters from people, not the latest deals on some ecommerce website).