Really Simple Syndication – #SolutionsWatch

02/23/202142 Comments

#SolutionsWatch isn’t just about the Big Ideas. It’s also about the simple tricks, tips and techniques that we can use to regain power over our lives and help create the world we want. Today, James explores one very simple and tragically under-appreciated tool: Really Simple Syndication.

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SHOW NOTES:
Feedly

Filed in: Solutions Watch

Comments (42)

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  1. abrig says:

    Greetings from the cloudy climbs of north eastern US, James! I’ve been a member for the last year and a big fan of yours for the past decade. I deleted my facebook long ago because the feed was garbage and instead created my own website that I use RSS feeds to get my news now, using WordPress and an RSS syndication plugin. You were my first feed and the website is at https://unitedpushback.com. Anytime I discover a website that writes quality articles, I add it. It’s my all in one go to place. Thank you for all of your hard work. You have made more of a difference than you’ll ever know.

    • sridhar says:

      Yep indeed! James has made a huge difference and continues to affect my understanding of the world in a profound manner. I have learnt more over the past 10 months or so than over several decades prior to that. Unlearning was somehow terribly easy for me, perhaps because I intuitively knew something was amiss. I would appreciate it if James went down the rabbit hole of germ theory and took that apart too in a style only he can. Thank you for everything you do, James. RESPECT!

  2. Paul says:

    Thunderbird is an open source email client that is available on every desktop platform and also includes an RSS reader, so you can get your emails and news in one place.

    You can also get QuiteRSS if you don’t use Thunderbird and want something more lightweight than an email client.

    The only downside vs. services like Feedly is that these will not sync with other devices, but what I find I like is to use different readers for a given device and load them with different sources, so checking the feed on my phone is to find out what is happening with those sources, not some nervous twitch to see if I “missed” anything.

    You can actually use RSS to monitor your favorite YouTube channels without having to log in by using the following URL:

    https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCxcnsr1R5Ge_fbTu5ajt8DQ

    To subscribe to a channel, replace all of the gobblty-gook after the = for the channel you want to add to your feed. Note that many of the links will be the channel’s name, which won’t work, but the channel ID number is always available by clicking the channel NAME (not the icon) just under the video frame of any of the channel’s videos.

    And if you want to get super advanced, you can use nitter to add Twitter to your RSS feed and get everything in perfect chronological order with no nonsense.

    https://nitter.net

  3. Slickdog says:

    This was great. Thank you, James. I consider myself fairly savvy but I’ve always ignored RSS. I’ll start using it now, looks simple.

    I like Solutions Watch. I’ve implemented a some other things recently. I’ll try to share later in the week. Thanks!!

  4. Thanks James. Well made video.
    I never saw any value for me in RSS but I see a bit now.

  5. kbh says:

    Greetings from the farty flats of rural Denmark.
    I’ve never used RSS, but may take a closer look after this introduction.

    After I left FB, I have used simple email subscriptions and an extended use of categorized bookmarks, to take control of the news feed. I have tried to start a couple of email groups with likeminded people, but it seams the lack of instant gratification, people are used to from social media eco systems, makes this a bit of a dead end. I believe more slow and more thorough is often better.

    One pitfall with RSS, is the possibility for infinite amount of news, that triggers curiousity, leading to too much screen time and too little action time. I observe this with many people.

    Have a great day

  6. Octium says:

    I’m a great fan of “micro” solutions. They are not the answer to life, the universe and everything but are just little steps along the way and give a much needed endorphin boost which is greatly needed in a world full of learned helplessness (especially for those that are awake but still helpless)

    One interesting fact is that a lot of the owners of web sites are not even aware they have an RSS feed themselves or maybe they just don’t care.

    So they wont have a nice link to the RSS feed like on the Corbett Report, but you might still be able to access it though if they use a content management system that has the feature turned on by default

    One way might to be to guess the link, so add rss on the end of example.com to get http://www.example.com/rss

    Or you might be able use a search engine to find it EG search for “example.com rss”

    I prefer a news reader that stores a copy of everything offline like RSSOwl

    Come and take my hard drive
    ….from my cold, dead hands!!

  7. colosseum says:

    RSS aggregators like Feedly are great, and I can add a couple of others I have actively used and recommend:

    https://inoreader.com
    https://theoldreader.com

    The major advantage of RSS aggregators vs website content is that:

    1) You get distraction-free pure text and (possibly) content-related images. No interrupting ads, fancy page styiling, or other cluttering elements.
    2) You can synchronise all your feeds across multiple devices.
    3) You have powerful filters to filter out content you are not interested in, from your (often long) list of feeds

    (my feed list has an average of 100 feed entries and a total of 600-800 piece of new content added every day, so filters are actually a truly powerful way to weed out a lot stuff I’m not interested in)

    If you are on desktop/laptop, I would recommend using a dedicated RSS application. A good start would be to go to a search engine and type something along the line “best rss feed readers software for {your operating system}”.

    For those who are on a Linux machine, I can recommend:

    – Liferea (https://lzone.de/liferea)
    – RSS Guard (https://github.com/martinrotter/rssguard)

    The advantage of RSS software is that they allow you to save a bunch of content locally, for offline reading (a good solution for long train journeys with your laptop and no internet connection).

    For android, I can recommend:

    – Handy News Reader (https://fossdroid.com/a/handy-news-reader.html)

    (Download it from f-droid instead of google play, for enhanced privacy)

  8. Al Saleh says:

    Instead of using feedly, I have my own aggregator, and it is open to the public
    https://news.alayham.com/

    RSS is a very powerful tool, and it can be used in many different ways. For example, it can be used as a decentralization tool to combat censorship, shadow banning, and deplatforming. It can also be used to disrupt Google’s control of search. I believe RSS is the simplest and most effective decentralization tool. Thank you for inviting the people to use it.

    And BTW, While many site owners use third party services to create their RSS feeds, James makes his own RSS feeds on his website. Great job.

  9. Roy says:

    Used RSS a long time ago, and trowed it out ! Got drown in info.

    Roy

  10. whaugen says:

    I thought this was great as I have never really used RSS. I have been and am considering getting a new email, and after watching this RSS #SolutionsWatch, maybe something like getting a new or first email account would be useful.

  11. TRUmsg says:

    VLC is an excellent free feed reader.
    JRiver Media Center is a great choice for audiophiles but is a paid program.

  12. kishin.t says:

    Hi James,

    I’ve used your RSS feed to download and create copies of almost all of your available content (RE: Library of Alexandria). One thing I’m missing is the ability to download the supporting docs and links in an easy an organized fashion just like your RSS feeds – do you have an solution for that?

  13. idele says:

    Thanks for the RSS tip! Something I’ve overlooked my entire internet-browsing existence.

    Idea for a future Solutions Watch: would love to see you talk to Christian Westbrook about his Greater Food Alliance initiative https://greaterfoodalliance.com/

  14. CRM114 says:

    Your brief mention of Aaron Swartz had me realize his dream of a website dedicated to the free access of scientific journals has been a reality for a while now. Sci Hub is an incredibly useful utility:

    http://sci-hub.ee

  15. Jeff says:

    On linux machines, newsboat is a lightning quick text based feed reader. Works well on Pinephone too.

    About 50% of the rss feeds I subscribe too don’t even publish a link to their feed. Someone mentioned a good way to check that is simply by guessing with something like http://www.corbettreport.com/rss. I would have to say most of the feeds I’ve found are wordpress sites and usually look like http://www.corbettreport.com/feed Although /rss probably works with wordpress sites as well.

    If the link isn’t presented on the website, the sure fire way to find the feed is to look at the page source. I don’t recommend Firefox anymore, but some great tools are embedded in this graphical browser, like simply right clicking or hotkeying to view the source code of the page. So on a websites home or blog home page, go to source code and use the browser’s search or find function to search for any of the following: ‘feed’, ‘rss’, ‘atom’ and you are bound to find the link there if it exists.

    Have fun rss’ing everyone, and like others, happy to see Corbett cover such a simple, basic, old, and powerful internet ‘technology’ that is literally a text file on a server. So cool. It’s a very focused way to use the internet and I can’t recommend it enough.

  16. Duck says:

    Been bad about regular feeds… I just wonder whats going on and go look… when I have it set up gpodder works pretty well for a podcast grabber on linux.

    I have several of those AAA battery powered MP3 players that you plug in like USB sticks…with reacharables they are super cheep to buy and run…the newest ones are a bit more hit and miss.
    Also for when I dont want headphones, got a flip phone off ebay that plays podcasts for hours and hours out of a surprisingly nice speaker.

    I played with text-only web browsers after seeing Lunduke do it and its actually a REALLY good way to read text without but it was a bit weird to use. Everyone who can afford a 2nd machine (pref an old recycled one running linux) should set up a dedicated “Online” computer and keep their personal stuff on a machine that mostly never touches the web.

  17. 8Gc58 says:

    When it comes to podcasting I can suggest:
    AntennaPod (Open source. Can be downloaded via F-Droid or normal app store.)

    When it comes to RSS there are unfortunately heaps of site not having a feed. Google has some blame, as they’ve worked against RSS (remember Google Reader?).

    A solution that is very good for subscribing to feeds, and as well creating feeds out of sites not having implemented RSS, is:
    inoreader.com

    Inoreader is my favourite by far, and I’ve tried a lot of different services as well as I’ve built my own solutions.

  18. Octium says:

    Just a word for those concerned about the information overload from being subscribed to a million different RSS feeds. Just because you are subscribed doesn’t mean you actually have to read any of them!

    It’s nice to have the reader ticking away each day archiving and date stamping articles for insurance against future revisionism.

    If you were to do a google search of “PCR test” you are going to get a whole lot of articles revised to fit the COVID-1984 narratives.

    It’s nice to be able to go back in time. Who can trust the way back machine these days?

  19. DogStar says:

    Thank you for yet more helpful information, James! – Per feedback above, I’ve just set up an account at inoreader.com and look forward to utilizing an individualized feed for what I consider meaningful news!

  20. Laura K. says:

    It`s very unconformable for me to read articles on my PC. So I am currently trying to get articles – from the OffGuardian for example – on my Ipad. But a lot of sites don’t offer an download option… :-/ Screenshots are only practical if the article is short. Any advice?

  21. Thanks very much for this RSS tip James.
    I’ve seen the RSS icon often over the years
    and have read various articles that were somehow linked
    to the RSS feed, but I never set anything up (reader)
    as you are suggesting.

    This is something that I could make really good use of now. 🙂

  22. salas says:

    Such a great advice! I used Feedly in the past and moved away after being consumed by Google news, Google feed/ assistant, etc. I moved away from google since last year but completely forgot about this, I am currently using email subscriptions but for sure it is much better to read via RSS. Thanks for the advice and reminding me of this great solution!

  23. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Really Simple Syndication – #SolutionsWatch is just what I needed.
    I needed someone to walk me through this tool at a beginners level.

  24. James.L says:

    Amazingly informative episode. Thanks James! Have seen RSS over the years but never bothered to look into it. I did not know how practical it could be in assisting one to stay informed. In the past, I have subscribed to individual news websites newsletter. But found it tiresome in weeding through all of the emails etc. So I decided to refer to stinky old Facebook for my news. But as we all know that platform has too many drawbacks and I don’t envision FB in my future. So RSS, here we come! Also your episode on de-connecting from smart-phones was very so inspiring. I have been aware of my addiction to my iPhone for the a while now. Knowing that at some point, something would need to be done about that. So, to start, I’m planning on observing unplug day with my spouse and hopefully starting on a detox from our phones in future. I tried to turn some friends onto this idea. Encountered LOADS of push back and hostility. Ha! ha! A true sign of addiction. Surprise! Keep on tuckin! Peace.

  25. Jonathan says:

    Oh … WOW …
    THIS is what I should have been doing for the last 10 years.
    Thanks James. Better late than never. 😉

  26. 8Gc58 says:

    OBSIDIAN

    On the topic of software solutions, I would like to make people aware of Obsidian, as a potential tool for doing research etc.

    Info, from their own page at obsidian.md:

    Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

    The human brain is non-linear: we jump from idea to idea, all the time. Your second brain should work the same.

    In Obsidian, making and following [[connections]] is frictionless. Tend to your notes like a gardener; at the end of the day, sit back and marvel at your own knowledge graph.

  27. bladtheimpaler says:

    I tell ya I subscribe to web sites that I think are valuable and at that I am already swamped with so much information there is no practical way of keeping up with even the info I would like to. I do like to have a life and have one beyond the internet.

  28. joeps says:

    Thank you so much for this James. I love it! Would it be to weird to ask for some sort of list of the stuff you like best and have added to your Feedly page for daily browsing? So far I have you, press for truth, High wire, Dollar Vigilante, and I would like some other good ones you and James number 2 might enjoy readying if that’s not to personal. Thanks!

  29. Cody says:

    Awesome! Started with Feedly and working it to tweak it to my liking. This was a great addition to the portfolio we all need to have before we delve into the solutionswatch thread.
    BTW: New member here so hello James and hello to everybody, been a listener&watcher for some timem, now a EU based member to support this platform. Thanks James and hello everybody

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