inessential by Brent Simmons

Some More RSS-y Things

I didn’t know that NewsBlur was open source — including the iOS app — and that David Sinclair works on it. Very cool.

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The iDownloadBlog ends an article on Reeder 4 beta with this:

Is there anyone out there still using RSS?

Don’t tell me I’m the only one…

I get it. And I realize the person was kind of joking around.

But here’s the thing: tons of people use RSS readers. There’s no shame in it; you’re not the last person; there’s not going to be a last person.

This category of software is not going away, and no one needs to be meek about it. There are probably more RSS reader apps these days than ever before.

Other services for getting news and links exist too. But there are lots and lots of people who use RSS readers. Not still using them, as if they’re stuck in the mud. No: they are people who like them and see no reason to stop liking them! (Many of those people use other services too. Of course!)

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Nick Heer writes about developments on the RSS front:

I think the hardest question for RSS readers is how it could gain broader interest outside of the more technically sophisticated user group.

I agree that that’s a hard question, but I’m also not sure if it’s the most important challenge. I’m not writing an RSS reader because I expect a mass market to use it. I think lots of people will, but nothing like the number of Mac users who use Twitter, Facebook, or even Apple News.

That said… we should be trying to bring the benefits of RSS readers to more people based on ethical grounds. Deliberately — or through inaction — reserving technology for a sophisticated group is Not a Good Thing.

The answer is probably a collection of answers, and the way to get there is step by step.