It’s like podcasts — but for reading.
It stands for Really Simple Syndication (Or RSF Site Summary, if you’re a nerd). Basically, it lets you gather updates from all sorts of websites and Internet-channels into one program/feed. Any blog, news site or Internet-channel you want to follow, just grab the RSS link, put it in your RSS reader of choice, and you get all of it in one simple feed. No need to visit a bunch of different sites to see what you care about. It’s all there in one place.
CNN has RSS feeds. NRK has a bunch of RSS feeds you can follow. YouTube channels have RSS feeds. This is PewDiePie’s RSS feed. the singularity is nearer has an RSS feed. I have a list of feeds I follow available in an OPML.
And of course, I have RSS feeds for my musings, Sound Lessons From Set and software page.
Just go to those sections and look for this icon:
RSS is an old standard. A protocol. It is NOT a service or website. There is no RSS Premium. Anyone can put an RSS feed on their website, anyone can read that RSS feed. Nobody can stop the author, nobody can stop the reader. It’s freedom. And it’s completely site-independent. You can mix and match RSS feeds from wherever you want, however you want. You get to choose how they’re categorized, organized and displayed.
You know all this talk of censorship and/or content moderation and social media algorithms? Conservatives saying they’re getting censored, leftists saying they’re not being protected enough. People being addicted to likes and interaction counters. Facebook manipulating what you see to manipulate your mood. You’ve seen the debates, articles and documentaries.
Well, the solution has been right under our noses this whole time. Just use RSS and be happy. As a publisher, it’s on your own website, so YouTube won’t delete your account, or your videos. Neither can Facebook. Twitter can’t ban you here. As a reader, you get to actually see everything people share, unfiltered. You won’t be randomly unsubscribed, or randomly miss notifications. It is all in the user’s control, and that is sadly becoming rare nowadays.
So, to help keep the Internet free, and user-controlled, use RSS.
RSS is more than just freedom, philisophical superiority and convenience, however. The content1 you’ll find when browsing the web with an eye out for RSS feeds, is more likely to be of way higher quality than the stuff you’ll passively consume on social media. It’s the difference between being force fed spoons of refined sugar, versus organic grass-fed local game you hunted down yourself.
“Oooh, but scrolling on TikTok feels so goooood MMMMmMmmhh”
I’m sure it does, but I’m also sure you know you shouldn’t be doing it. Especially when you snap out of it, wondering what happened to the previous 4 hours of your life.
You could start by having a look at my list of hyperlinks. After that, browse the web, follow links between random people’s websites, explore, and you’ll discover interesting stuff. Many people (such as Zoraster) maintain a list of other good websites to check out. Those are great places to look. Infact, if you find something really cool, send me an email. I’d love to hear about it.
Download an RSS reader.
There are lots of great RSS readers to choose from, but here are a few good ones:
I don’t like the term “content” because most of the stuff called “content”, especially in the media industry, has absolutely zero actual content in it. It is only made to make you think about a brand. Vapid, empty, shameful spam, made and consumed with zero respect for the human soul. ↩︎