Ben Borgers

Reading with RSS

June 22, 2022

I’ve used RSS to subscribe to blogs for around two years.

For those who haven’t come across RSS, it’s a standard format for websites’ content. A website can spit out a page in RSS format that lists all its blog posts, and then “reader” apps that speak this standard format can show you new posts on blogs you’ve subscribed to.

RSS was more popular before my time. Google made a nice RSS reader, Google Reader, but shut it down in 2013. Being 11 at the time, I did not use Google Reader.

So a lot of people seem to pine for the days of RSS. A simpler time when you chose which blogs you wanted to follow, instead of relying on social media algorithms to hopefully bring those things to you. A time when people published on their own websites and owned their own content.

But to be honest, I feel like that still exists, to an extent. RSS is much less prevalent, but pretty much every website I’ve wanted RSS on has it. I get all the articles I want to read in a feed, and I don’t miss anything. And when I come across a new blog that I don’t want to forget about, I just add it to my RSS reader.

I use Feedbin as my RSS reader app, by the way. It’s $5/month, but I love it. I’m sure there are free RSS reader apps too, I just haven’t looked too carefully.

There’s one hole in this story: when I last rewrote my website, I shed the RSS feed because I didn’t feel like porting it over.

But I appreciate RSS, and use it myself, so I’ve added it back to my website. It’s on the list of posts. So if you’re someone who uses an RSS reader, you can subscribe to my blog posts if you so choose! And if you’re not someone who uses an RSS reader, I’d highly recommend it*.

*If you have any blogs that you want to keep up with. Other than mine, of course. You want to keep up with mine. Right?