If you are not familiar with RSS, I recommend you to watch this video by Growth Origin. Both the web standards - RSS and Atom are equally good. You can use any one of them. The purpose of this blog is to explain the importance of such standards, not to comapre between them

In simple words, RSS is a protocol that allows users to access updates from different websites. The best part about RSS is that it’s a protocol. As I have mentioned in my previous blog, protocols solve many problems that are common today due to large centralized platforms. The essay Protocols, Not Platforms explains the same in detail. The basic argument is current platforms are centralized and there is too much power in the hands of companies. Many individuals feel that feed on these platforms is noisy. It is filled with hate speech. Also, the value obtained from the feed to time spent ratio is low.

I feel that RSS can be a solution to the above problems. If more people start using RSS, we will be able to share valuable ideas with less noise. So, here is the utopia, that I have dreamt of. Instead of people posting their thoughts on platforms, they write them down on their blogs. And individuals interested in learning their thoughts can subscribe to their blogs via RSS feed. In this case, you don’t have to open a disturbing feed. You can only read from the people, whom you want. The best part about it is, it supports diversity. Individuals can blog anywhere - CMS like WordPress, personal website setup using Static Site Generators. And readers too can use any RSS reader of their interest. There is no restriction on the content providers and content consumers to stick to a particular platform. A Reader can change the RSS reader and the writer can change his/her site any number of times, provided the RSS feed URL remains the same.

But one can complain - why do I have to write a blog to share my shower thought. I have 2 arguments

  1. A blog doesn’t have to be lengthy read. There is nothing wrong with a blog with character length less than 280.
  2. May be, this can be an excuse to think more about the idea, and express it in great detail.

This is really an effective way. I follow many blogs of my friends from KOSS, and I have been loving the experience.

RSS in current scenario

You don’t have to wait till all the people you like set up their blogs. Many popular websites support RSS. Here are ways, you can use RSS to follow content on different popular platforms at one place. For example, you can get updates from your favourite substack writer, YouTuber, subreddit all at one place via RSS. Here are ways how you can get RSS feed from popular websites

  • Reddit
    • RSS feed for a subreddit - https://reddit.com/r/SUBREDDIT.rss
    • RSS feed for a user - https://reddit.com/user/USERNAME.rss
    • RSS feed for multiple subreddits - https://reddit.com/r/SUB1+SUB2.rss
    • Front page - https://www.reddit.com/.rss
  • YouTube
    • Each channel link itself is an RSS feed. For example https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYO_jab_esuFRV4b17AJtAw, which is link for 3b1b YouTube channel is also link for its RSS feed
  • Substack
    • Adding /feed for the substack main page gives the RSS feed of the newsletter. For example https://ava.substack.com/feed is the feed for Ava from Bookbear express, whose substack main page is https://ava.substack.com/feed
  • Medium
    • https://medium.com/feed/PUBLICATION-NAME is the RSS feed for a medium account. For example https://medium.com/feed/semi-technologies is the RSS feed for https://medium.com/semi-technologies
  • Trial and Error
    • Most of the websites have RSS, though link for the feed may be not explicitly available on the site. Suppose, you want to find the RSS feed for https://domain.com, it is likely that link for RSS feed can be one of these - https://domain.com/index.xml, https://domain.com/feed.xml, https://domain.com/atom.xml.

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