Why And How I Still Use RSS

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Taking a break from games for just a minute, the final closure of Google Reader has reminded me just how relatively niche RSS is, despite how much I use it. Despite this and the emergence of other tech with the same end purpose, I’ll continue to use it for the foreseeable future.

I started using RSS in a time before there was twitter, when Facebook was still mostly limited to college students, and when keeping up with various websites was still a pain on its own. The main reason I use RSS so heavily now (I probably subscribe to close to 200 feeds) is because my involvement in journalism requires me to keep up on news beyond what bubbles up in social networks. It’s only the occasional person who asks me what RSS is or articles on RSS’s irrelevance that remind me of how unusual I might be.

I get it. If you follow the twitter feeds of a bunch of news websites you basically get the same information, but in a faster and more digestible format. To some extent even I do this every few hours while also reading hundreds of RSS headlines once or twice each day. Through my parents’ use of mobile devices I also see that individual newspapers have gotten much better at keeping people up to date through digital means, but I still need something more eclectic.

I’ve also seen the criticisms that RSS laser-focuses your media consumption, but that depends on how frequently you switch up and add subscriptions. Adding to your RSS feed is a bit more complicated than simply following something on twitter or liking it on Facebook I guess. Maybe doing it so often makes me a power user so perhaps that’s another unusual thing about my media consumption habits.

When it comes to actually moving on from Google Reader, a slip-up with Flipboard has severely damaged my relationship with that company and my most-used mobile app. Reading Google Reader on Flipboard was literally my number one reason for even turning on my iPad until the Google Reader shutdown. Due to some issues those feeds are now gone and I’m discovering just how flimsy Flipboard can be without other social networks to piggy back on.

If I could just throw an OPML file into Flipboard that would be the end of it. Just reading about the features it would lose even if I’d kept the Google feeds was disappointing. It would be even more ideal if Flipboard became its own RSS cloud (similar to Feedly), which I hope it’s in the process of doing. Flipboard is already trying to become its own social network with magazines and accounts, and I just hope they add RSS to that equation.

For now, Feedly will have to suffice as a substitute. Several RSS apps have already switched to its cloud which get’s the job done. After the issues with Flipboard and moving through some other iOS RSS readers I’ve switched to Newsify for now after iTunes Genius kept suggesting it to me, and I have to admit it’s pretty light and quick, having sort of imitated Flipboard’s magazine style.

Ironically, all I can really use Flipboard for now is Twitter and other social networks, bringing that app (for me) closer to how everyone else is probably consuming media.

BULLETS:

  • So Microsoft is doing QR codes that work with Kinect instead of making you enter codes manually. Shouldn’t the Wii U and 3DS be doing this? We know the 3DS camera can read QR codes.
  • Crysis is $5 on Xbox Live. It is unlike any other Xbox shooter, including its sequels. http://flip.it/c1e3K 
  • Donkey Kong for the Game Boy is on Club Nintendo again: https://t.co/zs2uql79Mf I did a blog on it a while back. One of the best games I’ve played on my 3DS.
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One thought on “Why And How I Still Use RSS

  1. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a
    linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

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