You may be wondering what RSS is, however, if you listen to podcasts regularly then you’re using it every time your app renews the list and downloads new episodes for you to listen to.

RSS is the unsung hero of the Internet and is getting bigger and bigger, largely thanks to the podcasting boom. But it has another usage, one that it was originally intended for that has a knock-on consequence that might just save your sanity. The original intent was to simplify the discovery and reading of news articles from popular websites.

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, allows websites, like this blog to publish some basic information to a feed that a reading application will update on a regular schedule. Once updated the user can simply browse the articles and blog posts either online or off. You “subscribe” to the feed and its free. And with that, you have an ever-updating list of things to read.

If you’re more Social Network inclined and are dealing with the problem of drinking sewage from the firehose — let’s not fool ourselves, that’s what most of Twitter and Facebook is —, switching to a curated RSS feed will bring a breath of fresh air to your internet experience.

As an added bonus, the RSS is clean. What I mean by that, is that there is no corporate spying technology builtin to RSS, which explains why the Facebooks and Twitters have shunned it, because they can’t track your usage.

Try it out for yourself, its easy and you’ll feel better for it. Why not start with a newly released bit of software, NetNewsWire, it’ll make you love the open web again.

I’m glad I never left RSS and I’m glad for applications like this. Thank you.

1 September 2019 — French West Indies