I can’t remember when I first embraced the greatness that is RSS, but I can tell you about the time I abandoned it: in 2013 when Google Reader shut down. RSS was essential to my daily internet habits for several years until 2013, and when Google Reader shut down, I didn’t run across a good alternative to replace it. So, I just let the whole idea of RSS go and went back to visiting sites manually.
Over the past seven years, I’ve tried various RSS readers with varying success. It wasn’t until last year that I finally found a small reader on the Play Store that really worked for me. It was ad free, allowed me to save articles, and loaded rather quickly. I loved this little reader and I slowly began adding the handful of friend’s blogs to it so that I wouldn’t miss out on a post.
Over time, I began adding more websites to the RSS reader and I found myself saving a lot of time, avoiding advertisements, and being able to quickly pull up something to read whenever needed. I loved it and just as I began embracing RSS more and more, the little app that brought me back to RSS began undergoing changes. The creator decided to add ads and then did a redesign that pretty much ruined the experience for me. So, I went back to the drawing board to find a new RSS reader.
I spent several weeks trying out all the ad free selections along with anything I could download on F-Droid. After weeks of trial and error, I settled on Feeder, which was simple to use, easy to organize into lists, and loaded quickly. The only feature missing is the ability to save articles or mark them as favorites, but that’s a small price to pay for a free, no account needed app with no trackers.
Over the past month, my RSS app has grown to be one of my most important internet tools, once again. Finding the communities on Mastodon and Write.as has led me to find some incredible blogs to keep track of. I discovered RSS feeds for some of my favorite video game sites that solely update whenever they post reviews. I even found a way to turn Twitter posts into an RSS thanks to Nitter. A year ago, I didn’t even RSS and now it controls a good portion of the content I consume daily.
I’m thankful for RSS. It saves me time, allows for me to quickly decide on what I may want to read or not, and keeps me in the loop for those things that I deem important. I’m shocked I had forgotten what a great tool that it was, but I’m happy that I’ve rediscovered it and it’s making my life just a little bit easier.