sad spiders

Use a feed reader for better internetting

That orange wifi-y icon

Have you noticed RSS feeds out in the wilds of the internet? You know, this thing: rss icon. You’ve probably seen it everywhere. If you didn’t before, there’s a good chance you will now.

It turns out that this isn’t just something for nerds to click on. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, because if you ever click on the link to view the actual RSS feed, you will indeed be confronted with a wall of technical mumbo-jumbo. But the thing is, that link isn’t actually meant for people to look at. It’s the site’s recent history (like latest articles or whatever) in machine-readable form.

You’re losing me

Jeez, are our attention spans really that bad?

What you can use these feeds for is to create a curated list of feeds that will provide updates from all of your favourite sites all in one place. I shit you not.

What you need to do is get yourself a feed-reader. As you might expect, there are a number of them available for free or with some sort of payment for more features. The most popular out there is feedly but I have grown attached to Inoreader for reasons I can no longer remember. Probably simpler and with a prettier UI (user interface), for which I am a sucker. Both of those are available on whatever app store you use.

Sounds hard

It is not. Seriously. There is a bit of set-up involved, but at least Inoreader has a search where you can type in the name of your favourite site and it will find the RSS link and allow you to add it to your own feed. So now instead of having to go to site X and then site Y and then site R and then back to see if site X has anything new, this shit will all be delivered right to you as soon as it is available. It’s efficient. So now you can get that sort of thing out of the way and spend more time spacing out watching your TikTalks or TedToks or I don’t know, does anyone use Snapchat anymore? Wasn’t that huge like, a year ago?

What’s in it for sad spiders?


One, it allows my articles to get shoved into your face. We’ll be honest and say that you’re not likely to visit this site daily looking for new content because we all know it won’t be there. With RSS feeds, little guys like myself are able to be seen side-by-side with the big players out there with very little effort. Especially when using the website builder that I use, which pretty much automates the whole process for you.

Two, the feeds will often show you the meat and potato(e)s of a story/article without you needing to wade through all the extra crap they like to scatter about. (Related: use an adblocker! If you really like a site, subscribe or donate to them, it’s way better than an ad-based economy). And by cutting out some algorithms that try to tell you what you will like and just seeing everything chronologically, you re-gain a bit of control over how content is presented to you. Power to the people, rah rah. If the story isn’t showing up properly for some reason, you just tap on the page and you’re whisked off to the actual site.

So now you know and you can’t un-know. Give it a try. If you hates it, nothing lost. If you loves it, hey, maybe I have one more dedicated reader? And I think the articles should get more funner now that some of the technical stuff is out of the road.

[End Communication]

#meta #zestiness