I’m a huge fan of RSS feeds. I’ve been using them for a very long time and it’s my favorite way to keep up with blogs and websites. Last year, the amount of sites I subscribed to grew tremendously. I found all sorts of great homegrown blogs from interesting people and it rejuvenated my love for the internet. For a minute, it felt like the internet was going back to what it used to be, handcrafted content from real people about real things. Well… that time was short lived.
I’ve noticed over the past several months that my RSS only pulls articles from a handful of sites. I have three friends who blog, a Star Trek news site, The Action Elite, and a few tech bloggers who chime in from time-to-time. It’s been so quiet on my RSS app, I thought it was broken. So, earlier today, I decided to backtrack through all of the blogs I was subscribed to see what was up.
What I found was a graveyard. Dozens, upon dozens of sites abandoned. Many of them in 2020, but quite a few in the spring of this year. It seems that when people were stuck at home, they felt creative and wanted to interact. So, they created blogs and mini communities. Once things started opening back up, the writing stopped and the blogs were left abandoned.
It made me wonder, what drove people to writing? Was it boredom or enough free time to be creative? Was it the desire for a community of some sorts? Was it a passing fad? Or was it nostalgia, a quest for a simpler time through writing? I’m not really sure, I don’t have an opinion or any real data to go on, I just know that I removed over sixty blogs from my RSS feed all abandoned.
I know I’m guilty of moving my blog to different services and ruining whatever RSS, email lists that I have going, so I actually looked up every single blog individually to see if maybe they moved or maybe the feed was no longer valid. I found a couple of feeds that weren’t properly working, but the majority of them were sitting how I last saw them, stuck in a snapshot of pandemic writing a year ago.
It saddens me that I lost out on so many interesting stories. They were in my life for just a blink of the eye. There were stories of relationships, home buying, programming, and cars. There were movie reviews, video game recaps, and wrestling analysis. There were all sorts of interests and moments being captured in words that now sit dormant. Neglected for life, careers, or new hobbies.
For me, it’s strange. I cannot stop writing. I don’t feel healthy if I’m not writing. I’ve had a journal or blog since around the age of sixteen and if I go for more than a few days without expressing myself I just feel like something is off. I NEED to write, even if its not the most captivating of stories. I guess, its not like that for everyone else. I’m sure other people need to cook, take photos, hang out with friends, or whatever else fills that tank for them.
My RSS feed doesn’t search nearly as many blogs as it did this morning. In fact, I believe I’m around twelve blogs followed. I’m hoping to build my number back up, because I’d much prefer to read about real people doing real things, than read whatever listicle, sponsored post, or ad ridden article that most sites seem to shovel out these days.