Photo of Nathan Shubert-Harbison Nathan Shubert-Harbison

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What’s RSS, grandpa?!

tl;dr RSS is just great. Feed url:

I know, I know, I can hear you already. You don’t use RSS anymore, what is this, 2003? You follow all of your blogs on Twitter, or maybe even Flipboard. But hear me out for a second. Old fashioned as it may feel, RSS has a few advantages over Twitter for following blogs.

RSS is the best way to see everything

Twitter is just one consolidated stream of everything. Unless you’re a Twitter completionist, you’re not going to see everything. If a blog tweets about a post just after you go to bed, and there happens to be a big news story in the morning, you’ll probably miss it.

With RSS, you’ll get a more inbox like interface, sorted by blog. If John Siricusa posts something overnight, it’ll be right there for you during your lunch break the next day.

RSS slows the pace of the web

The slow web concept is just fantastic; we’ve created the internet, yet tend to adjust our living patterns to match it rather than matching our internet use to our own patterns. The slow web takes the “always updating, better not miss it!” of Twitter, and changes it to the “whenever you’re, I’m here waiting to be read” of RSS.

The apps are great

Sure, Google Reader is a thing of the past, but there are some great alternatives now, like FeedWrangler, Feedly, Mr. Reader, Unread, and Reeder. Almost all of these have great ties into apps like Instapaper, Pocket, Delicious, Evernote and Pinboard, so you can create reading workflows.

For my personal RSS workflow, I use FeedWrangler as my syncing service. I use Reeder to check on what’s new, and either read short posts there or send longer ones to Instapaper. From Instapaper, after I’m done reading I’ll send items to Pinboard for archiving (if they’re of a certain quality), Omnifocus if they’re in some way actionable, or Evernote if they pertain to a project for which I have a notebook.

The best thing about all of this though is that I never miss anything from any of my favourite blogs; I can access them when want to and not have to check Twitter every 5 minutes; and I can use some great apps in the process.

So go ahead, fire up an RSS reader and add to read whatever I post, whenever is most convenient for you.